Next Club Meeting: July 20, 2019, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery - Official Comic-Con Trailer


STAR TREK: DISCOVERY
Watch the explosive trailer for the next chapter of the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24th on CBS All Access.

Star Trek Discovery Comic Con Panel news and highlights with Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, James Frain, Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin, Akiva Goldsman and Rainn Wilson.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

'Blame!' Action Figures Coming Out Next Year

BLAME! ACTION FIGURES

Blame! started out as a manga by Tsutomu Nihei. Epic in scope and set in the distant future, it dealt with the remnants of humanity trying to survive within the immense confines of solid Dyson sphere known only as The City.

The protagonist of the story was a mysterious man called Killy. Equipped with an incredibly powerful handheld Gravitational Beam Emitter, Killy’s quest was to find a human with Net Terminal Genes to cease the endless building of The City and liberate humanity from the constant slaughter by the Safeguard.
The manga itself is a huge and complex work, so when Polygon Pictures chose to adapt it they picked a small section from the manga featuring human characters. They acted as the exposition for the story and helped give the plot some historical context.

It broadly worked and the movie is a decent companion to its host manga. It also looks like another movie will be on the way sometime in the future, so Killy’s anime story still has a way to go yet.
These new figures tie into the anime version of Blame! and 1000Toys has clearly done an exemplary job. Previously, 1000Toys has directly collaborated with Nihei on larger 1/6 scale figures but these new 1/12 scale figures look at least as good and more affordable with it.

The two figures planned are of Killy himself and the newer Safeguard units. In the manga, they look slightly less creepy and are more humanoid in design. In the anime though, the Safeguard units are actually quite terrifying and 1000Toys has retained this newer and more unnerving design.

Pre-orders for both figures are now open and can be done directly via 1000Toys site, so if you want either of these figures then I advise you move quickly to avoid being left out.

While I am always happy to see Nihei’s work get the toy treatment, as the Sentinel version of the Tsugumori from Knights of Sidonia is amazing, I can only hope that there is a full-scale toy of the Gravitational Beam Emitter on the cards at some point in the future.

These action figures are now available for pre-order from 1000Toys directly and will be released in January next year. The Killy figure costs $65, whereas the Safeguard figure costs $60. Both of these prices include shipping. You can also watch the Blame! anime movie over on Netflix.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

BLACK PANTHER Comic Con Panel


'Black Panther' Comic Con panel news and highlights with Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Winston Duke, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright & Ryan Coogler.

Friday, July 28, 2017

June Foray dies at 99

JUNE FORAY
(September 18, 1917 – July 26, 2017)
The voice of Cindy Lou Who and 
Rocky the Flying Squirrel, dies at age 99
[Source: USA Today] June Foray was the voice actress behind Rocky the flying squirrel, Natasha Fatale and the Granny in Tweety and Sylvester cartoons. After acting for seven decades in legendary cartoons, Foray has died. 
You might not have known actress June Foray by name, but if you grew up watching classic cartoons from the 1960s, you almost certainly know her voice.

Foray, who died overnight at age 99 (just shy of her 100th birthday in September), was the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his Cold War enemy Natasha Fatale on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. 

Jerry Beck, the president of the animation trade group ASIFA-Hollywood, of which Foray was a founding member, confirmed her passing in a statement to USA TODAY.

"We are mourning the passing of animation’s best friend," Beck noted. "She has touched so many lives: with her voice that of so many classic cartoon characters, her efforts to create ASIFA, to maintain the Academy’s Oscar for Best Animated Short and her leadership in crafting the category of Best Animated Feature. She was one of a kind. A trailblazer, a great talent and a truly wonderful person. We will never forget her.”
Foray won a Grammy in 1968 for her work on the holiday classic 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.' (Photo: Warner Bros)

Foray was also a part of one of the most beloved holiday specials of all time, playing Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for which she won a Grammy in 1968.

She also brought life to The Bugs Bunny Show's Granny, The Twilight Zone's creepy doll Talky Tina and The Smurfs' Jokey.

Foray is also credited with coming up with the idea for the Annies, the awards show for the animation industry, a tradition that began in 1972. She won four Annies herself, including two consecutive trophies for her work on The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries in 1997 and 1998.

One of Foray's close friends said she died Wednesday. Her 100th birthday was just a few weeks away.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stranger Things happen at Comic-Con 2017


STRANGER THINGS
Here is the Full Panel for "STRANGER THINGS" from the 2017 San Diego Comic Con with Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown and Patton Oswalt, Matt and Ross Duffer, director Shawn Levy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

'80's Nostalgia with Spielberg's VR Film

READY PLAYER ONE
Ready Player One welcomes director Steven Spielberg back to the sci-fi genre after over a decade away. Based on the Ernest Cline novel, the movie casts Tye Sheridan as a virtual-reality player who’s intent on finding a hidden fortune left by game guru Mark Rylance. Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, and T.J. Miller co-star in the movie, which will be out next March. Will Spielberg find the virtual-reality setting to be as high-stakes and murderous as Jessica Fletcher once did? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"Thor: Ragnarok" Official Trailer


THOR: RAGNAROK
Comic-Con reveals the newest trailer for the new Thor movie. 
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

DC Giants Unite at SDCC


Comic-Con Sneak Peek at 'Justice League'
[Source: Yahoo!News] Yesterday, major movie news broke from San Diego Comic-Con when The Hollywood Reporter wrote that, public denials to the contrary, Warner Bros. was looking for a way to replace Ben Affleck as Batman immediately after the release of this fall’s Justice League­ — meaning that Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman would feature a new star in the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl. Given that Affleck is at the center of the studio’s entire DC Extended Universe, such a move would have major reverberations for the superhero series’ future. And today, on stage at Comic-Con on behalf of Justice League (and alongside his co-stars Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher), Affleck shot those rumors down.

In front of an audience eager to hear how the Oscar winner might confront the growing speculation that his big-screen crime-fighting days were numbered, Affleck made it clear that he had no intention of giving up duties as Gotham’s protector, stating:

“Let me be very clear. I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest f**king part in any universe. … It’s f**king amazing.”

Then, bluntly talking about an upcoming collaboration with Reeves (whose last film was the critically acclaimed War for the Planet of the Apes), Affleck — who was originally slated to write and direct The Batman, before stepping aside in both capacities — stated that “I would be a f**king ape on the ground for Matt Reeves.”

After Affleck proclaimed, “How many people in their life get to come to Hall H and say, ‘I’m Batman’?” the panel concluded on a high note, with the debut of a brand-new trailer for the forthcoming tentpole (watch it above). While Justice League has undergone significant changes in recent months, with director Zack Snyder handing over directing duties to Joss Whedon, the latest promo — full of action and banter — was well received. Plus, it ended with the return (albeit just off screen) of Henry Cavill’s Superman, following his “death” at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Justice League arrives in theaters on November 17.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Big Hero 6 The Series - Opening

BIG HERO 6 THE SERIES
Disney XD's animated series Big Hero 6, picks up immediately following the events of the Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award-winning feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of Hiro, the fourteen-year-old orphaned tech genius and Baymax, his very special plus-sized inflatable healthcare companion. Big Hero 6: The Series U.S. Premiere Fall 2017.

As the new kid at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges at the prestigious “nerd school” and the social trials of being the “little man on campus.” Luckily, Hiro has his brains, his ingenuity and his best friend bot to help him find his way. But it’s off campus where things get dangerous. Along with neat freak Wasabi, bubbly mad scientist Honey Lemon, fanboy Fred and no nonsense Go Go, the friends form an unlikely, but awesome super hero team – Big Hero 6. Together they face madness and mayhem as a colorful array of science-enhanced villains threaten San Fransokyo.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Behold! The Magic of San Diego Comic-Con!


Missing San Diego Comic-Con this year? Don't fret! Nerdist and Whitney Avalon (Princess Rap Battles) is here to take you on a magical/musical journey through Con!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anime Viewing Schedule for July 22, 2017

A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Wood Dale Public Library
"Don't take any strange detours this weekend!" 
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm

10:15 - 11:05    Macross Delta 25-26 [End]
11:05 - 11:55    Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World 20-21
11:55 - 12:45    Gamers! 1-2
12:45 - 1:35      Princess Principal 1-2
1:35 - 2:15        Club Meeting / Announcements
2:15 - 2:40        Little Witch Academia (2017 TV series) ep 9
2:40 - 3:30        Saga of Tanya the Evil 1-2
3:30 - 3:55        Restaurant to Another World 1
3:55 - 4:45        Made in Abyss 1-2

All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
 
Start watching the exciting anime series: Made in Abyss and Princess Principal!
ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Next Club Meeting is July 22, 2017

 A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
"Damn... business before pleasure."

Wood Dale Public Library
520 N. Wood Dale Road
Wood Dale, IL  60191
Main Meeting Room
Saturday, July 22, 2017
10:15 AM - 5:00 PM
 

Our next club meeting will be at the Wood Dale Public Library
Main Meeting Room (on your far right as you enter the front doors), 
from 10:15 AM to 5:00 PM 
(until the library closes).

There is public transportation available. 
A Metra train-stop is located within walking distance. 

Please note: If you are driving, please park your car 
on the south side of the building (not the front) in order to 
make room for other library patrons.
 
A Viewing Schedule will be posted soon.
 
Hope to see you all there!

(Click below for maps

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Martin Landau of Space: 1999 Passes Away

MARTIN LANDAU
(June 20, 1928 – July 15, 2017)
Actor Who Won an Oscar for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89
[Source: HollywoodReporter] Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor who showcased his versatility as a master of disguise on the Mission: Impossible TV series and as a broken-down Bela Lugosi in his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, has died. He was 89.

Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest, died Saturday of "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

After he quit CBS' Mission: Impossible after three seasons in 1969 because of a contract dispute, Landau's career was on the rocks until he was picked by Francis Ford Coppola to play Abe Karatz, the business partner of visionary automaker Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges), in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988).

Landau received a best supporting actor nomination for that performance, then backed it up the following year with another nom for starring as Judah Rosenthal, an ophthalmologist who has his mistress (Anjelica Huston) killed, in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

Landau lost out on Oscar night to Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington, respectively, in those years but finally prevailed for his larger-than-life portrayal of horror-movie legend Lugosi in the biopic Ed Wood (1994), directed by Tim Burton.

Landau also starred as Commander John Koenig in the 1970s science-fiction series Space: 1999, opposite his Mission: Impossible co-star Barbara Bain, his wife from 1957 until their divorce in 1993.

A former newspaper cartoonist, Landau turned down the role of Mr. Spock on the NBC series Star Trek, which went to Leonard Nimoy (who later effectively replaced Landau on Mission: Impossible after Trek was canceled).

Landau also was an admired acting teacher who taught the craft to the likes of Jack Nicholson. And in the 1950s, he was best friends with James Dean and, for several months, the boyfriend of Marilyn Monroe. "She could be wonderful, but she was incredibly insecure, to the point she could drive you crazy," he told The New York Times in 1988.
 
Landau was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928. At age 17, he landed a job as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but he turned down a promotion and quit five years later to pursue acting.

"It was an impulsive move on my part to do that," Landau told The Jewish Journal in 2013. "To become an actor was a dream I must've had so deeply and so strongly because I left a lucrative, well-paying job that I could do well to become an unemployed actor. It's crazy if you think about it. To this day, I can still hear my mother's voice saying, 'You did what?!'"

In 1955, he auditioned for Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio (choosing a scene from Clifford Odets' Clash by Night against the advice of friends), and he and Steve McQueen were the only new students accepted that year out of the 2,000-plus aspirants who had applied.

With his dark hair and penetrating blue eyes, Landau found success on New York stages in Goat Song, Stalag 17 and First Love. Hitchcock caught his performance on opening night opposite Edward G. Robinson in a road production of Middle of the Night, the first Broadway play written by Paddy Chayefsky, and cast him as the killer Leonard in North by Northwest.

In Middle of the Night, "I played a very macho guy, 180 degrees from Leonard, who I chose to play as a homosexual — very subtly — because he wanted to get rid of Eva Marie Saint with such a vengeance," he recalled in a 2012 interview.

As the ally of James Mason and nemesis of Saint and Cary Grant, Landau plummets to his death off Mount Rushmore in the movie's climactic scene. With his slick, sinister gleam and calculating demeanor, he attracted the notice of producers and directors.

He went on to perform for such top directors as Joseph L. Mankiewicz in Cleopatra (1963) — though he said most of his best work on that film was sent to the cutting-room floor — George Stevens in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), John Sturges in The Hallelujah Trail (1965) and Henry Hathaway in Nevada Smith (1966).

Landau met Bruce Geller, the eventual creator of Mission: Impossible, when he invited the writer to an acting class. Bain was in the class as well, and Geller wrote for them the parts of spies Rollin Hand and Cinnamon Carter. Landau earned an Emmy nomination for each of his three seasons on the series.

He could have starred in another series.

"I turned down Star Trek. It would've been torturous," he said during a 2011 edition of the PBS documentary series Pioneers of Television. "I would've probably died playing that role. I mean, even the thought of it now upsets me. It was the antithesis of why I became an actor. I mean, to play a character that Lenny [Nimoy] was better suited for, frankly, a guy who speaks in a monotone who never gets excited, never has any guilt, never has any fear or was affected on a visceral level. Who wants to do that?"

Landau found a kindred spirit in Burton, who also cast him in Sleepy Hollow (1999) and as the voice of a Vincent Price-like science teacher in the horror-movie homage Frankenweenie (2012).
Martin Landau and his wife Barbara Bain on the set of Space: 1999
"Tim and I don't finish a sentence," Landau told the Los Angeles Times in 2012. "There's something oddly kinesthetic about it. We kind of understand each other."

Landau played puppet master Geppetto in a pair of Pinocchio films and appeared in other films including Pork Chop Hill (1959), City Hall (1996), The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998), Rounders (1998), Edtv (1999), The Majestic (2001), Lovely, Still (2008) and Mysteria (2011).

On television, he starred in the Twilight Zone episodes "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" and "The Jeopardy Room," played the title role in the 1999 Showtime telefilm Bonnano: A Godfather's Story and could be found on The Untouchables, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Maverick, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, I Spy and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

More recently, Landau earned Emmy noms for playing the father of Anthony LaPaglia's character on CBS' Without a Trace and guest-starring as an out-of-touch movie producer on HBO's Entourage. He portrayed billionaire J. Howard Marshall, the 90-year-old husband of Anna Nicole Smith, in a 2013 Lifetime biopic about the sex symbol, and starred for Atom Egoyan opposite Christopher Plummer in Remember (2015).

And Landau appeared opposite Paul Sorvino in The Last Poker Game, which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

"If one could examine his DNA, it would read ACTOR," Bain said in a statement. "He embraced every role with fire and fierce dedication. Playing Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood was his loving tribute to all actors and garnered him a well-deserved Academy Award. His work was his joy and his legacy."

Landau worked as director, teacher and executive director at the Actors Studio West. He has been credited with helping to guide the talents of Huston, Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton in addition to Nicholson.

A documentary about his life, An Actor's Actor: The Life of Martin Landau, is in the works.
 
Survivors include his daughters Susie (a writer-producer) and Juliet (an actress-dancer) from his marriage to Bain; sons-in-law Roy and Deverill; sister Elinor; granddaughter Aria; and godson Dylan. Donations can be made to the Actors Studio West.

TMZ first reported the news of Landau's death.

Monday, July 17, 2017

George Romero Dies at age 77

GEORGE A. ROMERO
(February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017)
Father of the Zombie Film, Dies at 77
[By Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter] George A. Romero, the legendary writer-director from Pittsburgh who made the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead for $114,000, thus spawning an unrelenting parade of zombie movies and TV shows, has died. He was 77.

Romero, who put out five other zombie movies after a copyright blunder cost him millions of dollars in profits on his wildly popular first one, died Sunday in his sleep after a battle with lung cancer according to a statement from Romero’s producing partner Peter Grunwald to the L.A. Times. Romero’s family confirmed his death to the Times as well.

Romero’s 1978 sequel Dawn of the Dead was made for $1.5 million and grossed $55 million. He followed that by writing and directing Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009), a decomposing body of work that earned him the nickname Father of the Zombie Film.

Romero also penned a new version of Night of the Living Dead, released in 1990, that was directed by Tom Savini, his longtime collaborator and horror effects guru. (And Dawn of the Dead was remade by Zack Snyder in 2004.)

Some film scholars and horror enthusiasts contend that social commentary — specifically salvos against the military and materialism — lurked within Romero’s films. Most of his work was shot in Pittsburgh, where Romero attended Carnegie Mellon University.
Night of the Living Dead, the story of seven strangers trapped in a farmhouse besieged by a lynch-mob posse of staggering zombies, devastated/delighted audiences at the time of its release, its stark and grainy black-and-white cinematography imbuing it with a documentary realism.

Romero and his nine other investors, including co-writer John A. Russo, had cobbled together $6,000 to start production on the film, then titled Night of the Flesh Eaters. It premiered at the Fulton Theater in Pittsburgh on Oct. 1, 1968, and quickly caught on as a staple of midnight screenings around the country. But most of the profits eluded the investors because of a mistake by the distributor.

“We lost the copyright on the film because we put it on the title,” Romero explained in “Night of the Living Steelers,” an installment of NFL Films’ Timeline series that premiered in October 2016. “Our title was Night of the Flesh Eaters; they changed it to Night of the Living Dead.

“When they changed the title, the copyright bug came off, so it went into public domain [and] we no longer had a piece of the action. Everybody had a copy of Night of the Living Dead because they were able to sell it without having to worry about royalties going to us.”
 
Night of the Living Dead was rare for its time in that it featured an African-American actor (Duane Jones) as a hero in a mainstream movie.

After directing the box-office failures There’s Always Vanilla (1971), Hungry Wives (1972) and The Crazies (1973), Romero, looking to make ends meet, produced a series of TV documentaries that focused on such Steeler legends-in-the-making as Mean Joe Greene, Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw and Rocky Bleier.

He returned to the zombie milieu with Dawn of the Dead (this time with copyright intact), which was filmed at the Monroeville Mall outside Pittsburgh. “This was the first indoor mall we had ever seen,” he said in the Timeline documentary. “I said, ‘Wow, this is a temple to consumerism. There’s my topic.’ ”

Once, during an AFI screening of Night of the Living Dead, he was asked what terrified him. “I don’t have any supernatural hobgoblins that I worry about,” he said. “What scares me is life.”

George Andrew Romero was born Feb. 4, 1940, in the Bronx. As a teen, he was crazy about movies, especially the Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger opera fantasy The Tales of Hoffmann(1951). To watch it, he had to rent a movie projector and a print of the film from a movie house in Manhattan.

“They had one print,” he recalled. “Whenever it was gone, I knew the guy who had it. And when that guy came in and it was gone, he knew who had it. And that guy was Marty Scorsese. … We were the only two people who rented Tales of Hoffmann.”

Romero studied art and design at Carnegie Mellon, graduated in 1960 and started a commercial production company, Image Ten Prods. He made a Calgon detergent ad that lampooned the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage and did a segment for the kids show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that showed the host preparing to have a tonsillectomy.

All that helped pay for the camera his team used to shoot Night of the Living Dead. Money was tight, so the basement of his company’s office on Fort Pitt Boulevard in Pittsburgh doubled as the farmhouse basement in the movie.

Romero’s other work included Knightriders (1981), a mayhem movie with combatants jousting on motorcycles; Creepshow (1982), modeled after horror comics and scripted by Stephen King; Monkey Shines (1988), a psychological thriller revolving around a killer simian; The Dark Half (1993), where a writer’s alter ego aims to take over; and Bruiser (2000), about a man who finds his face transformed into a blank mask.

Romero also dabbled in the world of comic books with the limited Marvel series Empire of the Dead.

Glimpses of the man himself can be seen in many of his films, and he had a cameo as an FBI agent in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Thanks to Romero, Pittsburgh has been called the “Zombie Capital of the World” and each year hosts an event called Zombie Fest, complete with a brain-eating contest.

“I used to be the only guy in the playground, I was the only guy doing zombies,” he said in the Timeline doc. “Then all of a sudden The Walking Dead happened and it became mainstream. And now they’re all over the place.”