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drops Music

Bill and Ted Face the Music drops final trailer with a new release date – Ars Technica

It’s time to save the world, dudes! —

Because of the pandemic, the film will premiere September 2 in theaters and on demand.


Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprise their iconic roles in the final trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music.

We finally have the official full trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music, courtesy of Orion Pictures, plus a new release date: September 1, 2020. And for those of us who are skeptical that the majority of theaters will have opened their doors by then, the studio will be releasing the film simultaneously on demand. That’s most excellent news all around.

As we reported last month, in the original 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school students in danger of flunking history. If that happens, Ted’s father will ship him off to a military academy, thus breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns. But the band is destined to usher in a future utopia, which is now threatened. With the help of a time machine in the form of a phone booth—provided by Rufus (George Carlin), a messenger from the year 2688—the pair travels through history, meeting Socrates, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

The movie was a surprise hit, grossing $40.5 million against its modest $6.5 million budget. So naturally it spawned a sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), in which the boys must defeat their evil robot doubles from the future to preserve the utopian society based on their ideals. Among the highlights: Bill and Ted must play a game against Death in order to free their souls and return to Earth to win the Battle of the Bands. It’s a clear nod to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) where a man plays a game of chess in hopes of defeating Death. Bill and Ted challenge the Grim Reaper to Battleship, Clue, and Twister, easily winning every time.

The official premise describes the new movie:

The stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling exploits of William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan. Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.

  • “We’re a couple of couples, right?” Couples therapy isn’t going as well as the princesses had hoped.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Jillian Bell plays Dr. Taylor Wood, Bill’s & Ted’s family therapist.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Giving a bizarre musical “performance” at a wedding reception.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Hal Landon Jr. reprises his role as Captain Jonathan Logan, Ted’s father. He remains disappointed in his son.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Greetings! It’s Kelly (Kristen Schaal) with a message from the future. The name is a tribute to Kelly Carlin, daughter of the late George Carlin, who played Rufus in the first two films.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • You’d think they’d be used to random visitors from the future by now.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • It’s a first for Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving), however.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • On their way to the future in their trusty old time traveling phone booth.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Bill and Ted meet a Future Bill and Ted.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Another version of Future Bill and Future Ted ends up in prison.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Meanwhile, Billie and Thea decide to form their own band featuring some of the greatest musicians in history.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • This is most likely Mozart.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Every band needs a flautist.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Kid Cudi plays himself.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Respect for the music.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Bill and Ted find Death playing hopscotch by himself.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Another trip to hell.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Billie and Thea are in hell, but overall they’re still good.


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

  • Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!


    YouTube/Orion Pictures

An official teaser dropped in June, giving us our first look at what the dynamic duo has been up to since their bogus journey. Answer: not much. They’re having a bit of a mid-life crisis, with Wyld Stallyns reduced to playing gigs “in Barstow, California, for 40 people, most of whom were there for two-dollar taco night,” as the future utopia’s Great Leader (Holland Taylor) observed. We got a brief glimpse of William Sadler’s Grim Reaper and Bill’s and Ted’s two daughters, Wilhelmina/Billie “Little Bill” Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine, Bombshell) and Theodora/Thea “Little Ted” Preston (Samara Weaving, Ready or Not). Bill and Ted concoct a plan to travel to the future to steal the song that saves the world from themselves after they’ve already written it. (“How is it stealing if we’re stealing it from ourselves, dude?”)

The full trailer opens with Bill and Ted in marital counseling with their respective wives, Princess Joanna (Jayma Mays, Glee) and Princess Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes, Medical Police)—although as the therapist, Dr. Taylor Wood (Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs a Marathon), points out, joint couples therapy is probably not what the princesses had in mind.

Hal Landon Jr. returns as Ted’s father, Captain Jonathan Logan, this time chastising his son about his “delusions” of having traveled through time. “Here’s a real idea for you: be role models to your daughters! Get real jobs.” But the duo is tired of trying to unite the world after all these years; Ted in particular is feeling discouraged. That’s when Kelly (Kristen Schaal, Bob’s Burgers) arrives from the future in a cute egg transport to bring them to the Great Leader. The Great Leader informs them that they must perform an original song by Preston and Logan to save “reality as we know it.”

Note the wording there: a song by “Preston and Logan,” not necessarily Wyld Stallyns. Clearly, the daughters have a musical destiny, too. Billie and Thea realize their dads are in trouble and resolve to help them out. So while Bill and Ted travel to the future in their trusty old phone booth to steal the song they supposedly wrote from themselves, Billie and Thea use Kelly’s egg to travel through time collecting famous musicians throughout history to be in their band, including Kid Cudi (playing himself). Bill and Ted track down the Grim Reaper and find him playing hopscotch by himself (and cheating). And it looks like Billie and Thea, like their dads, get into a bit of trouble and wind up dead. And in hell. But otherwise, you know, they’re good.

Bill and Ted Face the Music will premiere on September 1, 2020 in select theaters (i.e., those that are open by then) and on demand.

Listing image by Orion Pictures

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Categories
drops Stock

Nio Stock Drops, Netflix Sinks, and the Dow Might Open Higher – Barron’s

Text size

U.S. stocks ticked up slightly in premarket trading as investors fretted about increased tensions between the U.S. and China as well as coronavirus cases continuing to increase on what feels like a stereotypical summer Friday.

Futures for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
crept up 75 points, or 0.3%.
S&P 500
and
Nasdaq Composite
futures were up 0.4% and 0.9%. Because of how the futures work, however, the S&P 500 looks set to open up 0.2%, while the Dow could open up 0.3% and the Nasdaq flat.

Oil dipped slightly over demand worries. The price of WTI crude was off by 0.5% at $40.53 a barrel while Brent crude was down 0.7% at $43.08 a barrel.

Netflix
(NFLX) shares were off by 8.6% premarket as the video streaming service’s expectations for subscriber growth fell short of analyst expectations. Netflix added 10 million subscribers last quarter and expects to add 2.5 million in the current quarter, well below analyst expectations.

Twitter
(TWTR) shares slid 0.7% after revealing that 130 accounts were targeted in the security breach earlier this week in which accounts of prominent people like Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk,
Amazon
(AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, and presidential candidate Joe Biden were compromised.

Cruise lines were hurt in premarket trades after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a no-sail order through September.
Carnival (CCL)
shares were off by 1.7%,
Norwegian Cruise Line
(NCLH) shares fell by 1.8% and
Royal Caribbean Cruises
(RCL) shares fell by 2.8%.

Nio
(NIO) has dropped 4.7% after Goldman Sachs cut the Chinese electric-vehicle maker to Sell from Neutral.

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com

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drops Trump

Trump drops out. Biden gets sick. Pence is fired. What if 2020 gets really crazy? – POLITICO

President Donald Trump. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Sure, could happen, can’t rule it out: Perhaps the most astounding year in American life in generations, presided over by the most norm-shattering leader in American history, might culminate with a surge of normality.

What would normal even look like? Maybe a series of sharp but nonetheless civil and substantive debates. Or a close election that nonetheless ends with an unambiguous and uncontested result.

Even to contemplate these bland scenarios is to highlight their improbability. Based on the record so far of the Trump years — and especially of the crisis-infused year we are in now — it borders on crazy to imagine that the balance of 2020 will unfold without becoming even more crazy.

Multiple interviews in recent days with influential people in Washington’s political class, including strategists and government veterans in both major parties and figures who have served at high levels in the Trump White House, found most people expecting some sort of dramatic shift of plot in this election year.

Three factors, in the calculations of these insiders, increase the likelihood of an event that in a conventional era would be highly unlikely:

•President Donald Trump’s psychology, predisposed to dramatic and unorthodox actions, as he contemplates public polling and news coverage that increasingly describe him as an underdog for reelection.

•The age of Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, 74 and 77, respectively, during a coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately affected elderly people.

•The general tumult in which the 2020 election is taking place, because of the pandemic and the vast decline in the domestic and world economies as a result of related shutdowns.

But if there is consensus on the high odds of more disruption, there is hardly uniformity on its precise manifestation. Here are seven scenarios that are something less than predictions but — by virtue of the experience of the people interviewed — something more than pure parlor-game speculation.

Trump finds an exit

One veteran Republican operative, close to many in the GOP’s donor class, said in the past couple weeks it’s been stunning the extent to which people who have some association with Trump are speculating he might drop out of the race. “He doesn’t want to be a loser, and that’s all in jeopardy now,” this strategist said. “It’s less than 50-50 [Trump would pull himself off ticket] but I’m amazed at the amount of New Yorkers that are talking about this — his former friends. … They think he’s looking for an excuse to get out.”

Worth emphasizing: This speculation is not coming from people claiming firsthand knowledge of Trump’s thinking in recent weeks, amid reports that he realizes that, on the current trajectory in national and swing-state polls, he is losing.

By these lights, Trump’s complaints about the alleged — though factually unsupported — vulnerability of postal voting to fraud could be a predicate for him saying the election is unfair and so he’s getting out. Or he could come up with a host of other reasons — he’s achieved his important objectives, he wants time with family, and so on — for bailing on a showdown.

In different manifestations of the scenario, the logic is the same: Trump has shown in his business career that he is willing to declare bankruptcy and shed liabilities in order to fight again another day. If remaining in the public eye, and perhaps fashioning a path for his children or some other designated political heir to keep the Trump brand alive in coming years, he might calculate that is better to get out early rather than risk a massive repudiation in November.

Trump shakes things up

The most dramatic version of a shakeup scenario is something that at least in some moods Trump has previously pondered: Dumping Mike Pence.

“He would throw Mike Pence in a wood chipper if he needed to,” said one former White House official who frequently interacted with Trump. “I’m still very surprised that he’s on the ticket. If someone walks in there and tells him, ‘The only way you’re going to pull this out is to put an African American on the ticket or to put a woman on the ticket’ — if it’s good for Trump, he’ll do it in a second.”

The problem with this scenario is that it is likely too late to do any good, even if Trump were willing to betray the loyal Pence. It would smack of desperation and endanger the support of religious conservatives who have a marriage of convenience with Trump but genuine devotion to Pence.

A more conventional shakeup scenario is one that campaigns in trouble often have turned to — firing the campaign manager or reinforcing that person with some wizened party pooh-bah — almost never to good effect.

Trump circles in recent days have been abuzz with speculation that Trump’s confidence in campaign manager Brad Parscale is shaken or even that he is second-guessing son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Illustrative of the chatter is gossip that veteran George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove might be taking on an enhanced role. Rove has said he consults episodically with Parscale, but people familiar with his thinking regard it as far-fetched that he would take on a more expansive role.

Mitch McConnell cuts his losses

For most of the Trump years, most Republicans who once disdained Trump have become so acquiescent to him that it may be easy to forget: The president is far from being the only ruthlessly transactional politician in the capital.

One indicator to watch if the president remains in parlous political health is whether leading Republicans — many of whom have long resented Trump — perceive an incentive in distancing themselves from him as the election nears.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, shares an interest in having Trump stay president in order to install conservative judges. But if he perceives Trump is a loser who endangers the GOP’s Senate majority, their interests could violently collide. “At the end of the day, the Senate majority leader wants to be the Senate majority leader,” said another former senior White House official. “He cares about the Senate, he cares about maintaining that majority, so if that means walking away from Trump at some point, he absolutely will.”

A September surprise

In days past, journalists and campaign operatives would entertain themselves with fantasies of an “October Surprise” — some news big enough to change perceptions of candidates or the stakes involved in choosing one over the other just before the November election.

The contemporary variant of that would have to be a September surprise in order to have maximum effect. Many states allow early voting to begin more than six weeks before Nov. 3, Election Day.

Among the candidates most frequently mentioned for a narrative-jolting event: A Supreme Court vacancy in the fall. “I couldn’t even fathom the chaos a [high court] vacancy could bring to this race,” said one GOP operative close to the Trump campaign. “McConnell’s going to go forward, the president’s going to go forward and the left is going to go crazy.”

Other scenarios we heard: Trump baits Twitter with tweets so inflammatory that the social media giant kicks him off the platform. Either big advances or big setbacks in the effort to contain Covid-19. Seismic endorsements, such as Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, resigning from the executive branch and endorsing Biden.

A high temperature and a dry cough

No need to get too macabre or dwell on this at length. It’s just a statement of the obvious that if either Trump or Biden were your aging parent in the midst of a pandemic, you would likely urge them to stay home and avoid any unnecessary human contact. You would not urge people creeping close to the average life expectancy for American men (78.5 years) to run for president, even if they were careful about wearing masks (as Biden apparently is and Trump self-evidently is not).

A rough transition

We should note that none of the Washington veterans we spoke with is seriously contemplating a constitutional crisis in which Trump contests the election and refuses to leave power, even though this scenario is sometimes invoked on social media and elsewhere.

But multiple sources do find it plausible if Trump loses he might disparage the results as tainted by fraud or other irregularities. A former White House official who worked closely with Trump said, “That will be his rationale and for the rest of his life, we’ll never hear anything but, ‘It was stolen.’ … He can’t admit that he lost, so how he’ll comfort himself or justify it is that it was stolen.”

One scenario to watch closely if Trump decides to leave the race or loses it: his use of pardon power to insulate allies and family members from any post-presidency legal probes. One point of constitutional ambiguity: Can a president pardon himself?

George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and who often publicly lashes Trump, predicted that if Trump loses he will skip the inaugural ceremonies: “I can’t imagine him attending Joe Biden’s inauguration because it would be to him the ultimate humiliation. He would rather blame other people, claim that the election was stolen from him but he’s [departing voluntarily] because he’s a good guy [but in protest] he will not attend the inauguration.”

Trump triples down

In some sense, this is the wild scenario that is already underway. Under pressure, Trump is relying on rhetorical themes that have worked for him before — just doing so even more loudly. His July Fourth remarks denouncing a “new far-left fascism” — and tweet Monday knocking NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag — are illustrative.

In some ways, his reelection struggles are offering us a glimpse of an unfamiliar Trump. A business associate who worked with Trump during his early 1990s bankruptcies said his signature was never letting anyone see him sweat.

“I would have been looking for the nearest building to jump off of, and he just remained upbeat all of the time,” Steve Bollenbach, a lender-mandated financial fixer who helped Trump avoid personal bankruptcy and lasting business humiliation, told Trump biographer Tim O’Brien. “I never suspected that he lost a moment’s sleep.”

That recollection is quite different than the image of Trump returning from a disappointing crowd at last month’s rally in Tulsa Okla., when he was photographed tieless, slumped and demoralized, as he departed Marine One.

And POLITICO’s Michael Kruse has written that Trump usually returns to old patterns, in particular the fighting ethos he learned from lawyer and Joseph McCarthy protégé Roy Cohn. “Deflect and distract,” Kruse summarized, “never give in, never admit fault, lie and attack, lie and attack, publicity no matter what, win no matter what, all underpinned by a deep, prove-me-wrong belief in the power of chaos and fear.”

That could make for an interesting second half of 2020.