Thankfully, a cooling marine layer blew in over L.A. Tuesday morning, which shifted the balance a bit for exhausted firefighters battling the huge Station fire which has destroyed some 63 homes and threatens some 12,000. "The Station fire grew to more than 122,000 acres overnight and continued to burn out of control despite some signs of improving weather conditions," reported the LAT. UPDATE 4:20 PM: "Firefighters made significant progress today in the Station fire, but a tense battle was underway this afternoon to save the communication centers atop Mt. Wilson. By 3 p.m., the fire was approaching closer than ever from two directions: one-half mile to the north and three-quarters of a mile to the west." Here's a NASA space photo from Sunday--the fire is now twice as big.
Most Hollywood folks seem to understand the need of the guys running to Marvel to cash out while the going was good. I worry that an indie outfit that sought to protect its characters and not play by the Hollywood rules will now succumb to them. Disney came out ahead on the deal, even if they paid dearly. The question remains whether Marvel can keep its autonomy and continue to play smart. Here's the LAT's Patrick Goldstein and the WSJ.
Most Hollywood folks know more about Marvel's Avi Arad and production chief Kevin Feige than Ike Perlmutter, the man behind the $4 billion Disney deal. Kim Masters reveals the man behind Marvel, and the NYT reports that he scored a $1.4 billion payday.
Good news: while newsstand sales are down 12.4% in the first half of 2009, some magazine subscriptions actually went up.
The Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit may offer insight into the future of indie film distribution. [Hat Tip: Ted Hope]
On the Internet
Netflix offers an apologetic refund over Xbox live streaming hiccup.
Wired declares that cheap and simple is just fine, as the success of Flip Cam and Redbox prove.
Speedcine hates the way IMDb mangles Chinese names. Some Chinese actors and filmmakers keep their names with the last name first, such as Zhang Yimou, Chow Yun Fat, Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li. Others Americanize their names, like Jackie Chan and John Woo. But the IMDb, as a database, has chosen to adopt the American mode for everyone, hence Li Gong, etc. I agree, it feels wrong, but they feel the need to remain consistent.
In case you missed it: Matt Damon, whose latest Steven Soderbergh comedy The Informant! will debut at the Toronto Film Festival, will be feted by the American Cinematheque on March 27, 2010. He's a much younger honoree than usual; most recipients tend to be accepting awards toward the end of their career. ABC will broadcast the event, now that it boasts a major star, instead of AMC. The Cinematheque is skipping a 2009 award show; the last one honoring Samuel L. Jackson was in 2008.