Review: ‘Studio 666’ (2022), starring Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel

February 24, 2022

by Carla Hay

Dave Grohl in “Studio 666” (Photo courtesy of Open Road Films)

“Studio 666” (2022)

Directed by BJ McDonnell

Culture Representation: Taking place in Encino, California, the horror comedy “Studio 666” features a nearly all-white cast of characters (with a few African Americans and Latinos) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: World-famous rock band Foo Fighters temporarily live in a run-down Encino mansion with a sordid history to record their 10th album, and they have many sinister and supernatural encounters.

Culture Audience: “Studio 666” will appeal mainly to people who are Foo Fighters fans and anyone who doesn’t mind watching campy horror flicks, no matter how derivative and disjointed they are.

Pictured clockwise, from left: Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins in “Studio 666” (Photo courtesy of Open Road Films)

“Studio 666” gets bogged down in too many dull horror stereotypes to be consistently campy fun. “Studio 666” will no doubt please people who automatically like anything from Foo Fighters, the Grammy-winning rock band whose members star as themselves in this misfire of a movie. There are Foo Fighters interviews that are funnier than what “Studio 666” fails to accomplish in being an original horror comedy for the band. There’s very little that’s original in “Studio 666,” which has silly jokes that come and go in spurts, just like all the blood and vomit that spew out in this gory movie.

Directed by BJ McDonnell, “Studio 666” was written by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes, with the screenplay based on a story idea by Foo Fighters lead singer/guitarist Dave Grohl. The movie has a simple concept of the band temporarily living in an abandoned mansion to record Foo Fighters’ 10th album. It isn’t until after they’ve moved in that they find out that the mansion has some dark secrets and is apparently haunted.

It’s yet another haunted house/demon possession movie delivered with very little imagination and intrigue, because everything in the movie just rehashes what hundreds of similar horror movies have already done. “Studio 666” could have been an edgy spoof of the music industry and the process of recording of an album, but the movie just goes down a predictable route of people getting killed off, one by one, in ways that are neither scary nor funny. This movie has practically no jump scares, and the ending drags on for too long. Predictably, the visual effects often look cheap, sloppy and unconvincing.

The opening scene of “Studio 666” shows a murder taking place in a mansion in Encino, California, in 1993. A terrified woman is crawling on the floor with her left leg bloodied and a bone sticking out of the leg. There’s recording equipment and musical instruments in the room. Nearby, the mutilated corpse of a man is on some stairs. The woman screams, “Why? We did everything!” The killer (an unidentified man) then goes in the room and bashes her head in with a weapon.

“Studio 666” then fast-forwards to the present day. Seated at an office conference table are the Foo Fighters band members: frontman Dave Grohl (the band leader), drummer Taylor Hawkins, guitarist Pat Smear, guitarist Chris “Shifty” Shiflett, bass player Nate Mendel and keyboardist Rami Jaffee. (For the purposes of this review, their characters in the movie will be referred to by their first names.)

Also in this meeting is the band’s manager Jeremy Shill (played by Jeff Garlin), who is grumpy and agitated. “Where’s my record?” he asks the band about the Foo Fighters’ 10th album. Dave points to his own head and replies, “It’s all up in here.”

Jeremy tells the band that this album can’t be delayed any longer because he’s heavily in debt and he’s tired of hearing excuses for why they haven’t done the album yet. He says to Dave about these excuses: “It all amounts to frozen shit.” This is what’s supposed to pass as an amusing joke in the movie.

Dave then says that for this album, he doesn’t want to do the same old thing and record at the same old studios. He wants to try something new. And so, Jeremy calls a real-estate colleague named Barb Weems (played by Leslie Grossman), who suggests what she says will be the perfect place for the band to record the album. It should come as no surprise that it’s the same Encino mansion where the murders happened from the movie’s opening scene. (“Studio 666” was filmed on location in Encino.)

When Barb shows the band around the mansion, the house is in a pathetic state, with a dirty swimming pool filled with leaves and other indications that the property has been neglected for a long time. Barb tries to make the house sound more attractive, when she tells the band, “This place has some serious rock and roll pedigree.” She mentions that a famous unnamed music producer used to have a recording studio there, and he used to throw wild parties in the 1970s and 1980s.

Barb then leads them to what she says is the “coolest room in the house.” Of course, it’s the room where the murders took place, but Barb doesn’t tell them this crucial fact. All she will say is that back in the 1990s, a famous band started to record an album in the house, but the group never finished the album because the band members didn’t get along with each other. Don’t expect a real explanation of what happened in that house in 1993, because the “Studio 666” filmmakers didn’t care about having intriguing story for this movie.

When the band and Barb gather in the room where the murders took place, Dave says that he senses a “weird energy” that makes him uncomfortable. He claps his hands together several times. Each time he claps, a grisly scene is shown taking place at the house that the audience can see, but that no one in the movie can see. Ultimately, Dave likes the way the acoustics sound in the room, so he and the rest of the band decide to rent the house to record the album.

Dave is so consumed with finishing the album as soon as possible that he immediately comes up with the idea that everyone in the band should move in the house to record the album. Most of the other band members gripe about it and say that Dave should be the one to tell their families about this decision. Rami, who’s depicted as the band’s oddball ladies’ man, lives with his grandmother. This leads to a not-very-funny joke where Chris tells Rami that he had sex with Rami’s grandmother. Some sex noises are edited in to conjure up this memory, and Rami blurts out: “Stay away from my bubbe!”

Soon after Foo Fighters settle in at the mansion and have their equipment set up, the band’s sound engineer/roadie Krug (played by Kerry King, former guitarist of Slayer) gets electrocuted and dies. It’s one of those “burned to a crisp” deaths—and an indication of more grisly scenes to come. This death was no accident because it was caused by an evil spirit that can shapeshift. Before this electrocution, an entity that looked like black smoke with hands lurks around the equipment, unbeknownst to the people in the house.

Dave then begins having nightmares in repetitive scenes where he seems to be in danger, but then he wakes up and finds out it’s all a dream. He’s also certain that there’s a mysterious man dressed as a house caretaker (played by Marti Matulis), who’s been lurking around the house. No one else seems to see this stranger, which makes it obvious that Dave is going to be the target of something evil. Dave’s nightmarish visions also happen during the day, such as when he’s barbecuing in the backyard, and he sees Krug’s head in the barbecue pit.

And to make matters worse for Dave, he has writer’s block and can’t seem to come up with any new songs. This is an example of the terrible dialogue in the film. Dave exclaims about his inability to concentrate: “My mind is flooded! Sometimes it’s like Prince. Sometimes it’s like Slayer. Sometimes it’s Lawrence fucking Welk.”

Not long after they arrive at the mansion, the band members meet next-door neighbor Samantha (played by Whitney Cummings), who is star-struck, flirtatious and nosy. Dave asks Samantha if she’s seen a man who’s the mansion’s caretaker. She replies, “No, Dave. This house has been empty for years.” Samantha and Rami seem to be attracted to each other, so you know where this is going, of course.

Samantha occasionally stops by for unannounced visits, but Dave thinks that she’s very annoying. As a gift, she brings some lemon bars that she says are frosted with cocaine. Dave says it’s all just a distraction, so he tells Rami to get rid of Samantha. Rami just uses it as an opportunity to let Samantha know that he’s interested in hooking up with her. These scenes could have been hilarious, but they’re just so dimwitted because the dialogue is so lackluster and boring.

Dave soon discovers an old recording studio in the house’s basement. When he plays the reel-to-reel tape, he hears heavy metal music that sounds like wannabe Black Sabbath from the 1970s. And suddenly, he doesn’t have writer’s block anymore and is inspired by what he hears.

Under Dave’s leadership, the band soon adopts this heavier and darker sound. (In real life, Foo Fighters recorded their “Studio 666” soundtrack songs under the name Dream Widow.) There’s no mystery over very what this music is supposed to represent. It isn’t long before Dave’s personality starts changing drastically, and the body count starts piling up.

One of the many ways that “Studio 666” disappoints is how it underuses the talents of the movie’s professional actors. Will Forte has a thankless and uninteresting role as a food delivery person. It’s essentially a cameo, because he’s in the movie for less than 10 minutes.

The character of Samantha is severely underdeveloped and could have been the source of some genuinely off-the-wall or cutting-edge comedy. Instead, Samantha utters mostly forgettable lines, while Cummings just mugs for the camera in this role. Lionel Richie has a brief cameo (less than two minutes) as himself, in one of the movie’s few scenes that can be considered laugh-out-loud funny. Jenna Ortega shows up in a small role toward the end of the movie. The character that she plays in the movie won’t be revealed in this review, but it’s worth mentioning that “Studio 666” is one of three 2022 horror movies that Ortega is in (“Scream” and “X” are the other two), making her quite the “scream queen” of the year.

No one is expecting the Foo Fighters members to be great actors. But for a band that is very charismatic in real life, “Studio 666” presents all of them as characters with cardboard personalities. Grohl and Jaffee are the only true standouts, because they have scenes where they get to show some wackiness that inject a little bit of spark in this tedious horror movie that waters everything down except for the gore. Grohl and Jaffee are also the two band members who look the most comfortable being actors on camera. The rest of the band members are really just bland supporting characters in their own movie and give performances that range from awkwardly stiff to trying too hard.

“Studio 666” is the type of niche horror movie that looks like it should have been released directly to video. Instead, the movie’s first release is in cinemas, but “Studio 666” is not worth seeing for the price of a movie ticket, unless people are die-hard Foo Fighters fans. People who want to see real Foo Fighters entertainment are better off watching a Foo Fighters concert to see what the band does best: Play music and not try to be movie stars in an embarrassing horror flick.

Open Road Films will release “Studio 666” in U.S. cinemas on February 25, 2022.

March 26, 2022 UPDATE: Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50. This obituary from the Associated Press has more details.

Discovery+ announces cooking TV series ‘Mary McCartney Serves It Up’

January 4, 2021

Mary McCartney

The following is a press release from Discovery+

British photographer and cookbook author Mary McCartney invites audiences into her London kitchen on Thursday, February 4, 2021, on Discovery+ as she prepares delicious, accessible, and picture perfect meals with her celebrity friends on the new discovery+ series “Mary McCartney Serves It Up.” In each of the six half-hour episodes, Mary shares her sincere love of cooking and her family’s favorite recipes and the stories behind them, showcasing her accessible vegetarian food philosophy for all to enjoy. In each episode, Mary will be joined by her famous friends, at home and over video conference, to celebrate food and friendship with transatlantic cook-alongs, taste-tests, cocktail classes and fun food Q&As. From easy dinners to comforting eats, moreish modern meals, and scrumptious desserts, Mary serves up incredible eats proving every day and special occasions can be vege-licious.

“I’m honored to be launching my new show on Discovery’s amazing new streaming service. With the help of a few friends, I want to show that meat free eating can be varied, delicious and accessible to everyone,” said Mary McCartney. “The recipes are simple, easy and rewarding. I can’t wait for you to be able to join me and my super talented guests for food and fun.”

It’s good food and great company on every episode, from Maple Vodka Grilled Peaches with Kate Hudson, Meatless Marinara Sub Sandwiches with Mark Ronson, and Deluxe Hash Brown Skillet piled high with spicy beans and delicious fixings for brunch with Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie. But no brunch is complete without a cocktail, so the ladies show Mary their special take on a spritzer. Plus, Liv Tyler is Mary’s official nachos taste tester, and Dave Grohl teaches Mary the secret to his legendary lasagna, while she makes Smokey Dogs and a chef’s salad with homemade dressing to round out the meal. Mary also arranges a food delivery for a virtual party with Gayle King, who famously doesn’t cook, filled with Sticky Crispy Cauliflower Bites, Pea & Mint Dip, and Roasted Tomato & Butterbean Toasts. Together they mix up a delicious mocktail, to toast to their friendship and to sharing a delicious meal.

“Mary McCartney serves up a passion for cooking, a unique culinary perspective showcased with every mouthwatering meal, and a love for connecting with friends over good food which is at the core of every episode,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network.

Mary McCartney is a British photographer, filmmaker and cookbook author and advocate of vegetarianism as part of sustainable plant-based living. Her cookbooks include “Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking,” in which she offers easy, family-friendly meat-free dishes that will appeal to everyone, as well as “At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends,” offering more than 75 recipes, with recollections of specific celebrations, gatherings, and family highlights through the years. She is also a co-founder of Meat Free Monday, a not-for-profit organization that campaigns for sustainable, meat-free living.

“Mary McCartney brings her passion for food to Discovery+ at the perfect time to offer our global audience ideas for cooking delicious meals for their families,” said Lisa Holme, Group SVP Content and Commercial Strategy Discovery+.

Follow #MaryMcCartneyServesItUp for even more of Mary’s tried-and-true recipes that are perfect for special occasions and everyday dinners alike, as well as behind-the-scenes videos of Mary and her celebrity guests. Fans can visit, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more.

Discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service. The new service will launch with a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans 12 months of Discovery+ on Verizon. At launch in the U.S., Discovery+ will have the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service, featuring a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of high-quality documentaries. Discovery+ will offer more than 55,000 episodes all in one place, with over 2,500 current and classic shows from Discovery’s iconic portfolio of networks, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. For more about Discovery+, click here.


About Discovery:

Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as discovery+, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.

Review: ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music,’ starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter

August 27, 2020

by Carla Hay

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” (Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures)

“Bill & Ted Face the Music”

Directed by Dean Parisot

Culture Representation: Taking place in various parts of Earth (particularly in the fictional San Dimas, California) and in outer space, the comedy film “Bill & Ted Face the Music” has a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans and a few Asians) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: Two middle-aged men who used to be rock stars face several obstacles when they try one last time to find a song that will save the world.

Culture Audience: “Bill & Ted Face the Music” will appeal primarily to fans of star Keanu Reeves and the previous “Bill & Ted” movies, but most people will be disappointed by this incoherent, not-very-funny sequel.

Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” (Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures)

After years of discussions, false starts and pre-production problems, the long-awaited comedy sequel “Bill & Ted Face the Music” has arrived—and it lands with the kind of clumsy thud that happens when the movie’s title characters use their time-traveling phone booth to crash-land in a different era. The movie is overstuffed with too many bad ideas that are sloppily executed. And the end result is an uninspired mess that brings few laughs.

The movie is the follow-up to 1989’s “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and 1991’s inferior “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.” “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is by far the worst of the three movies, which all star Keanu Reeves as Ted Theodore Logan and Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston. You’d think that with all the years that have passed between the second and third movies that it would be enough time to come up with a great concept for the third film. But no. “Bill & Ted Face the Music” writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, who also wrote the first two “Bill & Ted” movies, have added several new characters and unnecessary subplots as a way to distract from the story’s very weak plot.

In “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the dimwitted duo Bill and Ted were high-school students in the fictional Sam Dimas, California, with dreams of making it big as a two-man rock band called Wyld Stallyns. Bill and Ted were on the verge of flunking out of school unless they got an A+ grade on their final history exam. Through a series of bizarre circumstances, they’re visited from another planet by someone named Rufus (played by George Carlin), who gave Bill and Ted a time-travel phone booth.

Bill and Ted used the time-traveling booth to collect real-life historical people (Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Ludwig van Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Abraham Lincoln, Sigmund Freud and Joan of Arc), in order to bring them back to San Dimas as part of Bill and Ted’s school presentation for their history exam. Two British princesses from another century named Elizabeth and Joanna ended up as Bill and Ted’s girlfriends and decided to stay in San Dimas with Bill and Ted.

In “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” Bill and Ted fought evil robot replicas of themselves that were sent from the future to alter Bill and Ted’s destiny of becoming rock stars who can save the world. Along the way, the real Bill and Ted also battled with Death (played by William Sadler) by playing a series of games. Bill married Joanna, Ted married Elizabeth, and each couple had a child born in the same year. And (this won’t be a spoiler if you see “Bill & Ted Face the Music”) Wyld Stallyns also became a superstar act.

In “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” it’s explained in the beginning of the film that Wyld Stallyns’ success was short-lived. In the subsequent years, Bill and Ted made many failed attempts at a comeback. They are now unemployed musicians who are trying not to be bitter over their lost fame and fortune. But their wives are starting to get fed up with Bill and Ted’s irresponsible lifestyle.

Joanna (played by Jayma Mays) and Elizabeth (played by Erinn Hayes) are the family breadwinners because Bill and Ted blew all their rock-star money and don’t have steady incomes. Bill and Joanna’s daughter Wilhelmina “Billie” S. Logan (played by Samara Weaving) and Ted and Elizabeth’s daughter Thea Theadora Preston (played by Brigette Lundy-Paine) are both 24 years old and take after their fathers, in that they are both unemployed and not very smart but they are passionate about music.

The movie’s poorly written screenplay assumes that many viewers have already seen the first “Bill & Ted” movies to understand some of the jokes. But even people who saw the first two movies might have seen the movies so long ago that these jokes won’t land very well anyway. Some of the jokes in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” have a little better context if you saw the first two “Bill & Ted” movies, but references to the first two movies make the most sense in the scenes with the wives of Bill and Ted.

In the beginning of “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” a wedding reception is taking place where Bill and Ted give a toast to the newlyweds and then inevitably give a terrible music performance. The newlyweds are Ted’s younger brother Deacon (played by Beck Bennett) and Missy (played by Amy Stoch, reprising her role from the first two “Bill & Ted” movies), who was married to Bill’s father in the first movie in a May-December romance. Missy is not that much older than Bill, and in the first “Bill & Ted” movie, there’s a running joke that Bill lusts after his stepmother Missy.

In “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” it’s mentioned in a voiceover that in the years since the second movie took place, Missy divorced Bill’s father (who is not seen in “Bill & Ted Face the Music”), and then married and divorced Ted’s policeman father (played by Hal Landon Jr., who reprises his role as Ted’s stern father), who is now chief of the local police. And now, Missy is married to Ted’s younger brother Deacon, who is also a cop. These awkward family dynamics could have been mined for hilarious situations and more jokes in the movie, but they fall by the wayside because the movie gets caught up in some messy subplots that get tangled up with each other.

Bill, Ted, Joanna and Elizabeth are in couples counseling with Dr. Taylor Wood (played by Jillian Bell), who is baffled over why both couples want to be in counseling sessions with her at the same time, as if it’s a double date. Bell is a terrific comedic actress, but the dull lines she’s given in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” are so listless and unimaginative, that her talent is wasted in this film. It’s eventually revealed that unless Bill and Ted change their destiny, their wives will leave them and their children will be estranged from Bill and Ted.

How do Bill and Ted find out that they can change their destiny? It’s because someone from outer space comes to San Dimas to tell them the world is ending and can only be saved if Bill and Ted find the song that will not only unite the world but also restore reality as they know it. The visitor from outer space is named Kelly (played by Kristen Schaal), who is sympathetic to Bill and Ted and wants to help them. She has arrived on Earth at the behest of her mother called the Great Leader (played by Holland Taylor), a jaded matriarch who doesn’t have much faith that Bill and Ted can deliver the song that can save the world.

Bill and Ted’s time-traveling phone booth is brought back from outer space (with a hologram of Rufus, using brief archival footage of the late Carlin), so Bill and Ted jump back and forth to different times and places in their quest to find the song. Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame) has a cameo as himself in one of these scenes. Meanwhile, the “world is ending” scenes include historical figures ending up in the wrong places or people suddenly disappearing, as if to show that history and reality are being warped into an irreversible void.

The movie also spends a lot of screen time showing Bill and Ted encountering different versions of themselves in future and/or alternate realities. These scenarios include Bill and Ted as old men in a nursing home; Bill and Ted with bodybuilder physiques in prison; and Bill and Ted as successful rock stars with fake British accents. All of these scenes mostly serve the purpose to show Reeves and Winter acting silly in various hairstyles, costumes and prosthetic makeup. However, almost none of these scenes are genuinely funny

And if all of that weren’t enough to overstuff the movie, there’s a simultaneous storyline with Billie and Thea doing their own time traveling. While in San Dimas, space alien Kelly met the two daughters and explained the urgency of how Bill and Ted have to save the world. In order to help their fathers, Billie and Thea decide they want to create the ultimate band that can accompany the Wyld Stallyns when they play the song that will save the world. Kelly provides Billie and Thea with their own time-traveling spacecraft, and so off Thea and Billie go to recruit top musicians to join the band.

They end up recruiting Jimi Hendrix (played by DazMann Still, doing a barely passable impersonation) and Louis Armstrong (played by Jeremiah Craft, doing an awful, mugging impersonation), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (played by Daniel Dorr, doing an average impersonation), plus two fictional musicians: Chinese violinist Ling Lum (played by Sharon Gee) from 2600 B.C. and North African drummer Grom (played by Patty Anne Miller) from 11,500 B.C. And because apparently no A-list superstars rapper wanted to be in this train-wreck movie, Kid Cudi (playing himself) is also in this makeshift band.

Meanwhile, the Great Leader grows impatient with the bungling Bill and Ted, so she sends a robot named Dennis Caleb McCoy (played by Anthony Carrigan) to assassinate Bill and Ted. The robot keeps announcing that his name is Dennis Caleb McCoy and that’s supposed to be a joke—but it’s a joke that gets old by the second time it’s said. And it comes as no surprise that Death (with Sadler reprising the role) is in this “Bill & Ted” movie too, which recycles some plot elements of “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.”

A huge part of the appeal of the first two “Bill & Ted” movies is that these characters were young and dumb. Their “party on, dude” attitude and antics were meant to be laughed at because it was a parody of how a lot of young people act when they have the freedom to be reckless. But now that Bill and Ted are middle-aged, their doltish mindset isn’t so funny anymore, which is why the filmmakers came up with the gimmick of having Bill and Ted’s children take up the mantle of being the “young and dumb” characters in this movie.

Lundy-Paine as Thea gives the better progeny performance, since she’s believable as Ted’s daughter. And even though her body language seems a bit forced and awkward at times, Lundy-Paine shows a knack for comedic timing. Unfortunately, Weaving is miscast as Bill’s daughter Billie, because Billie doesn’t look like she inherited any of the mannerisms that would make her recognizable as Bill’s daughter. In other words, her “dimwit” act is not credible at all. And it might be a compliment to say that Weaving is just too smart for this movie.

Reeves and Winter do exactly what you expect them to do: act like middle-aged versions of Bill and Ted. But the movie looks like it was thrown together haphazardly instead of being a great and original idea that writers Matheson and Solomon had the time to work on for all these years. You don’t have to see the first two “Bill & Ted” movies to understand what’s going on in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” because so much of the story is lazily written dreck that will confuse some people anyway. Seeing the first two “Bill & Ted” movies right before seeing “Bill & Ted Face the Music” might also underscore how much better the first two movies were.

And for a movie that’s supposed to center on music, “Bill & Ted Face the Music” has original songs that are utterly generic and forgettable. There used to be a time when a “Bill &Ted” soundtrack was sort of a big deal in the music business. Not anymore.

Just like the misguided “Dumb and Dumber” and “Zoolander” sequels that had the original comedic duo stars but came decades after the original movies, “Bill & Ted Face the Music” arrives too late and falls very short of expectations that weren’t very high anyway. Whereas the first “Bill & Ted” movie sparingly used the idea of Bill and Ted confronting their alternate-reality selves, “Bill & Ted Face the Music” over-uses this concept as filler for a shambolic, insipid plot that is the very definition of “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.” “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is like the equivalent of loud, screeching feedback from an amped guitar that is grossly out of tune and ends up creating a lot of unnecessary and irritating noise.

Orion Pictures will release “Bill & Ted Face the Music” in U.S. cinemas and on VOD on August 28, 2020.

Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America: Elton John hosts; performers include Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw

March 25, 2020

Elton John (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

The following is a press release from iHeartMedia and Fox:

iHeartMedia and Fox announced today Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America, a music event to provide entertainment relief and support for Americans to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic. Hosted by Elton John, the event will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and more, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved. The concert will air in the iHeartRadio Music Awards’ original broadcast time slot—Sunday, March 29, from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/6:00-7:00 PM PT on Fox—and on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as via the iHeartRadio app. The benefit special will be broadcast commercial-free.

In addition to featuring music, the hour-long concert will pay tribute to the front line health professionals, first responders and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus. It also will encourage viewers to support two of the many charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America® and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

To extend the reach of the commercial-free special’s charitable component, FOX will offer the event across all of its linear and digital platforms.

Additional details and performers to be announced soon. For more information, visit

Executive producers for Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America are John Sykes and Tom Poleman, for iHeartMedia; and Joel Gallen, for Tenth Planet Productions, who produced the multi-network telethons immediately following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti Earthquake.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 150 markets; digital radio via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its on-air influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit for more company information.

About FOX Entertainment

A division of Fox Corporation, FOX Entertainment’s 30-year legacy of innovative, hit programming includes “9-1-1,” “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “The AMsked Singer,” “Lego Masters,” “Prodigal Son,” “Empire,” “Last Man Standing,”  “24,” “The X-Files” and “American Idol.” Delivering high-quality scripted, non-scripted and live content, Fox Entertainment’s broadcast network airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week, as well as major sports; and is the only major network to post year-over-year growth among viewers during the 2018-2019 broadcast season.

March 27, 2020 UPDATE:  iHeartMedia and Fox announced that Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R. and Sam Smith have been added to the lineup. The concert will also feature inspirational messages from guests as well as special appearances from Ciara, Demi Lovato, Lizzo, Russell Wilson and more.

March 29, 2020 UPDATE: Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Ken Jeong, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone have been added to the lineup.

March 30, 2020 UPDATE:  Last night’s broadcast of the benefit special Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America brought viewers together to thank our first responders and medical workers on the front lines and to celebrate America’s everyday heroes. The event raised money to support two charities that are doing critical work during these challenging times – Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation. The one-hour special was created to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic.

The benefit special raised nearly $8 million (and counting) for Feeding America® and First Responders Children’s Foundation. This is thanks to the generosity of fans, as well as corporate partner Procter & Gamble, which donated $500,000, and which Fox Corporation matched. Additionally, FOX employees raised funds in support of the cause, as did corporate partner PwC.

YouTube, which also made a donation in support of the cause, is now streaming FOX PRESENTS THE IHEART LIVING ROOM CONCERT FOR AMERICA, through Wednesday (April 1, 2020) at 10:00 PM ET on iHeartRadio’s YouTube Channel.

“Our goal from the start was to ‘do good’ at a tough time in the world. And that we were able to accomplish anything of that sort is because of the amazing artists who participated in this event, our producing partners, iHeart Media, and the outpouring of support from our employees, viewers and corporate partners,” said Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment. “Many thanks to everyone involved with the production of this special and everyone who gave generously to the wonderful charities. It is they who support the really important work happening across our communities.”

In addition to airing on FOX, the special ran on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, via the iHeartRadio app; and is streaming on YouTube both domestically and globally until Wednesday, April 1, 2020. To extend the reach of the commercial-free special’s charitable component, FOX also offered the event across all of its linear and digital platforms, including and the FOX NOW app. FOX will air an encore of the special Monday, April 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

The Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America delivered 8.7 million viewers and a 2.0 Live + Same Day aggregate rating among Adults 18-49 across all of FOX’s linear properties, including Fox Network, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes. It added more than 700,000 starts and eight million minutes viewed across FOX’s digital properties.  On Fox, it delivered a 1.5 Live + Same Day rating and 5.5 million viewers, making it the #1 and most-watched iHeart Radio special ever (excluding awards shows) and this year’s #1 Sunday entertainment telecast (excluding post-NFL and award shows) among Adults 18-49 (#1T) and Adults 18-34.

Donations will continue to be accepted via the Internet at Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Hosted by Elton John, the event featured performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Tim McGraw, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, H.E.R., and Mariah Carey, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved.

The hour-long concert also featured inspirational messages from guests, as well as special appearances from Ken Jeong, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, and Ellen DeGeneres, as the benefit special paid tribute to the front line health professionals, first responders and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus.

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Executive producers for Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America are John Sykes and Tom Poleman for iHeartMedia and Joel Gallen for Tenth Planet Productions, who produced the multi-network telethons immediately following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake.

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