Zero Hour, the American conspiracy television series created by Paul Scheuring, premieres on ABC tonight (February 14, 2013), though early critics reviews have left us with absolute NO IDEA as to whether it's going to be any good. Some viewers may have made their minds up - the pilot episode has been available on Hulu since February 1.
The show certainly seems to boast a decent pedigree - Scheuring was the mastermind behind the thrilling drama Prison Break. The show won the 2006 People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama and was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Drama. Zero Hour follows the story of Hank (E.R.'s Anthony Edwards), who runs the magazine Modern Skeptic with his friends Rachel (Addison Timlir) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster). The group finds themselves involved in a dangerous worldwide conspiracy after Hank's wife (Jacinda Barrett) is kidnapped.
As mentioned, the show has polarized critics - basically, nobody knows whether it's the best or worst television drama since, err, Prison Break. Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal was generally impressed by Zero Hour, "It's a measure of the skill brought to this script by Paul Scheuring that a first episode so awash in multiplying complications manages to maintain its coherence and even a significant measure of suspense," she wrote. David Hinckley of the New York Daily News offered cautious, though Tom Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Zero Hour has lots of twists and turns that could be worth following. It also has the DNA to be laughably bad." It's safe to assume Aaron Riccio of Slant Magazine will not be tuning in for the rest of the series, writing, "The first 12 minutes are enough to bury it, though given the shoddy acting, overwrought dialogue, and poor production values, it's easy to imagine that 12 full episodes would in fact bring about the end of time itself."
Continue reading: 'Zero Hour' Is Either Laughing Bad Or Ridiculously Good, You Decide
The catchy pop ballads found on the soundtrack for Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss will break your heart in two. The movie these songs support only wishes it could make such a claim.
Back to the music for a minute. Coldplay, Cary Brothers, Fiona Apple, Snow Patrol, and a smattering of other fashionable artists - each handpicked by leading man Zach Braff - croon (and sometimes whine) about infidelity, loss, and life-changing mistakes that target the love of your life. Sample lyrics include, "She's moving on... without you." Sentiments rarely deviate from this norm. It's a nice place to wallow on a rainy afternoon.
Braff worked similar musical magic for his directorial debut Garden State. His ear for stirring, soulful melodies earned him a Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture Grammy award. But where Braff's Garden mix tape enhanced his quirky and personal little comedy, this new song collection can't lift Goldwyn's somber material from the doldrums.
Continue reading: The Last Kiss (2006) Review
At the same time, Ladder and its creators make no bones about the fact that the film is pushing our emotional buttons. It manipulates our heart strings and tugs at our tear ducts in its quest for inspirational cinema. Admittedly, it's a bit slick and overdone, but it's difficult to fault a picture that wears its intentions on its soot-stained sleeve and holds the serviceman position of firefighter on such a lofty pedestal.
Continue reading: Ladder 49 Review