City of Hope Is the Pick of the Week

Eighteen years ago, I went to the movies with my mother. It was a movie we knew very little about. There weren’t any big stars. It had Chris Cooper in it, and I might have known who he was at the time, but he certainly wasn’t someone I was a fan of. Matthew McConaughey was about to hit it big with A Time to Kill that same year. I remember a lot of hoopla about him being the next big thing with that film, but again he was not yet someone I was a fan of. We went to see the film because the local newspaper critic said it was good, and that was good enough for us. It is weird now to think that there was a time when I both read local newspaper critics and went to see films based on their reviews.

Buy City of Hope Blu-ray

We got to the cinema a little late and the only seats available were in the second row. It was a big screen so we had to careen our heads back. When the movie ended, I had a screaming headache and my neck was cricked for days. Still, it was worth it. The movie was real good. Like nothing I’d seen in the theater before.

That film was Lone Star, a murder mystery set in Texas by director John Sayles. I’ve only seen one other film from Sayles, The Secret of Roan Inish, and I liked it very much as well. I watched Lone Star again a few months back and was surprised at how good it holds up. I made a note to watch more films from Sayles. He’s a director that critics seem to love but who never really hit the mainstream.

With this new release of Sayles’ 1991 film City of Hope from Sony Pictures, I think I have my chance to dig a little further into his filmography. Set in the gritty inner city, the film follows a huge cast of characters as they fight for survival. Like going into Lone Star all those years ago, I don’t know much more than that brief plot synopsis. I don’t want to know. Sometimes going into a film blind is the best way to view it.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season 4: This animated series follows the lives of the support crew of an unimportant starship. They are the people who you usually don’t see in the movies and television series. I’ve heard good things about it and keep meaning to give it a try.

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: The Complete Series: This Amazon series stars John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, a CIA desk jockey who is forced into the field with action-packed results. It has received decent reviews and feels like one of those shows you can put on after a hard day’s work and veg out to.

Jack Ryan: Ultimate 5-Movie Collection (4K UHD): Before the television series, some of Clancy’s Jack Ryan books were adapted into big action thrillers. This set includes The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Werckmeister Harmonies (4K UHD): Hungarian film about a strange circus that rolls into an unnamed town and causes the citizens to slip into violent madness. It was filmed in 39 long takes. Criterion is releasing it with their usual flair.

Mat Brewster


  1. Gordon S. Miller on April 15, 2024 at 10:17 pm

    John Sayles films are highly recommended

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search & Filter