Next Club Meeting: June 22, 2024, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third 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.

Friday, March 31, 2023

There are Gods among us… and Heroes within us...

Based on the international anime sensation, Knights of the Zodiac brings the Saint Seiya saga to the big screen in live-action for the first time. Seiya (Mackenyu), a headstrong street teen, spends his time fighting for cash while he searches for his abducted sister. When one of his fights unwittingly taps into mystical powers he never knew he had, Seiya finds himself thrust into a world of warring saints, ancient magical training and a reincarnated goddess who needs his protection. If he’s to survive, he will need to embrace his destiny and sacrifice everything to take his rightful place among the Knights of the Zodiac.
Coming to theaters May 12

Thursday, March 30, 2023

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's... GAMERA?

Netflix Series starts streaming worldwide in 2023!
Gamera, the giant flying monster turtle which has been beloved by Kaiju fans across the globe since the 1960's, faces off against five enemy creatures across six episodes in this new animated series.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Look! Up in the sky...

S u p e r m a n   A w a k e n s
by Antonis & Staros Fylladitis
Superman Awakens is a passion-made CGI cinematic, inspired by Kingdom Come Superman and the work of the legendary Alex Ross. It’s our first film-making attempt in Unreal Engine 5 using the Lumen technology and we are blown away by its speed and capabilities.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

'Strange New Worlds' & 'Lower Decks' Meet...

Jonathan Frakes On Directing
‘Strange New Worlds’/’Lower Decks’ Crossover
[Source: TrekMovie] One of the most anticipated episodes in the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is the crossover with Lower Decks that will bring Tawny Newsome as Mariner and Jack Quaid as Boimler onto Pike’s USS in live-action. That episode was directed by TNG vet Jonathan Frakes, who’s been talking about that as well as the state of Star Trek movies and TV.

Full-on comedy on Strange New Worlds

Jonathan Frakes has an interview in the February issue of SFX Magazine, and in addition to talking about returning as Captain Riker in the third season of Picard, he also talks about his experience directing the Strange New Worlds/Lower Decks crossover episode:

Oh god, it’s so good. I have Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome, who are both amazing. It was such a treat for me because it is a flat-out comedy. Full on. And they’re fearless over there, they take some really big swings on Strange New Worlds. They’re animated at the beginning and at the end. It’s a clever and simple product. It’s not really Roger Rabbit because what happens is these guys come over and they’re humans and you accept them as soon as they’re on the Enterprise. God, the two of them have got great energy, and it freed up the acting company on Strange New Worlds to play more broadly. Anson’s a wonderful comedian, very dry, but so’s Rebecca. It encouraged Ethan and everyone, there were just a lot of positives that came out of them having the guts to do a full-on comedy, let alone a crossover with an animated show.

When speaking to TrekMovie last year, Frakes said he was picked to direct the crossover because he had previously appeared as Riker in Lower Decks, noting “They’re stretching the limits of the comedy of Riker on Lower Decks and knowing me personally, this would be a good fit. And as you can imagine, it was a blast.”

Trek’s future is TV

By directing for season 2 of Strange New Worlds, Frakes is now the only person who helmed episodes for all three current Paramount+ live-action Star Trek shows, which includes two episodes of the upcoming third season of Picard and at least one from season 5 of Discovery.  Combined with his directing work on TNG, DS9 and Voyager, he has directed over 30 episodes of Trek TV and two Trek feature films. When asked if he sees a future for himself directing for big screen Star Trek again, Frakes pointed to TV as where it’s at with Trek these days:

Movies are tough! Even J.J. [Abrams] can’t get this fourth movie off the ground. All those wonderful rumors? Noah Hawley was attached to a Star Trek movie, and Quentin [Tarantino] was toying with people’s emotions about doing a movie. If those two names can’t get a fucking movie made, I don’t know. TV is the future, it seems to me.

In his late 2022 TrekMovie interview, Frakes did say he reached out to Abrams after Matt Shakman dropped out as the director of the Star Trek 4 project to remind the producer “If you need an experienced guy to take over Star Trek 4, I’m available.” In that same interview, he also said he felt season 3 of Picard “could continue into the next story” and that he would love to be involved with any follow-up show both in front and behind the camera. He had the same sentiment in his SFX interview, saying “I hope the road leads to another series.”

There is much more from Jonathan Frakes as well as interviews with co-star Gates McFadden and Picard showrunner Terry Matalas in the February issue of SFX Magazine.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

It was all Eren's Plan from the Beginning...

How 'Attack on Titan' Wrote the Perfect Plot Twist 
The final season of Attack on Titan brought the show's BIGGEST PLOT TWIST YET: Eren manipulated EVERYTHING. The reveal of the Attack Titan's true ability- that lets its users see its future memories- allowed Eren to write the past itself and shows us that he was behind one of the series' biggest moments EVER. And today I'm breaking down what makes this scene so incredibly intense, emotional, and utterly surprising.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Awesome Wood Sculptures in Action...

After being betrayed by his peers and lost both his father and his right arm, legendary craftsman "Jingoro Hidari" is on a journey of revenge with his partner "Sleeping Cat" and his mechanical prosthetic arm. Finally, Jingoro faces one of his adversaries "Inumaru" in a fight to the death...

This is a pilot version of the stop-motion samurai film that tells the story of "Jingoro Hidari," a legendary Edo-era craftsman. All the characters are made by wood and animated frame by frame, just like how Jingoro's wooden sculptures came to life in his many anecdotes. We hope you enjoy this film, which mixes dynamic actions as seen in Japanimation, and the rich analog expressions of stop-motion animation.
Our intention is to use this pilot film as a starting point to create a full length feature film. We're currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to gain support for our activities to find the necessary partners to go into production of the feature-length version. If you liked this video and would want to see more of it, we would be very grateful if you can support us on Kickstarter!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Anime Viewing Schedule for March 25, 2023

 A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Fountaindale Public Library
          11:15 - 12:05   Lupin Zero eps 2-3
          12:05 - 12:55   Trigun Stampede eps 4-5
          12:55 - 1:30     Club Meeting
          1:30 - 2:20       Lycoris Recoil 12-13 [End]
          2:20 - 2:45       Attack on Titan: Final Season Part 3 ep 1
          2:45 - 4:40       One Piece Movie

"Three... Two... One! Action!"
Fountaindale Public Library
300 W. Briarcliff Road
Bolingbrook, IL 60440 
Board Room, Second Floor 
From 11:10 AM to 5:00 PM

All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
Don't miss the exciting anime series: Lupin Zero and Trigun Stampede

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A Review of 'DnD: Honor Among Thieves'...

Dungeons & Dragons:
-- Honor Among Thieves --
Highly Recommended!
On Sunday, March 19, I attended the Amazon Prime early screening of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Here is my review of the movie:

It was alot
FUN! And even more surprisingly... it wasn't Woke! I didn't get the sense that it wanted to push a political message or humiliate a certain group because of their skin color or gender, which seems to be the staple for movies made for "modern" audiences nowadays. This was different. It was a return to traditional values and common sense. And it was refreshing to see. This movie felt more like playing an actual role-playing game with all the nuances and excitement that come with it. All of the characters are very likable, even Hugh Grant's roguish Forge is devilishly charming. Everyone has their own individual skills and abilities based on their class and race. Chris Pine plays Edgin, who is a Harper, a sort of bard who plays the lute (for comic relief) and has a sharp mind. Michelle Rodriguez plays Holga Kilgore, a barbarian with a penchant for axes. Justice Smith plays Simon, a wizard who is more powerful than he realizes. Regé-Jean Page plays Xenk Yendar, a righteous paladin with long life. And Sophia Lillis plays Doric, a tiefling druid, who is small and cute, but deceptively deadly. Apparently, teiflings have TAILS. My only complaint in the film, is that her tail isn't fully revealed until the final battle near the end of the movie where I noticed that something was hanging from her back. Oh, its a tail! Why have a tail if you don't use it? Anyways...

The movie stays true to its setting in Neverwinter Nights. The people, culture, and scenery are right out of the game.

The story is simple, a thief wants to resurrect his dead wife and win back the love of his estranged daughter with the help of his motley crew of adventurers. Their escapades have them crossing paths with multiple dragons, red wizards, and even the undead. In one humorous scene, they need to find a magical helmet last seen at a battle fought years ago by Holga's ancestors. So they dig up the graves of the fallen warriors, one by one they raise the dead, asking them five questions before they return to death never to arise again. But as usual, after digging up all of the graves, its always the LAST one who has the answer.
The movie has plenty of surprises. There is an Easter egg that pays homage to the original 80's Dungeons & Dragons cartoon that if you blink, you might miss it. There in the background of the arena scene are one of the three groups of adventurers who are forced to fight in the maze. The original D&D cartoon characters in live-action: Hank, Presto, Eric, Sheila, Bobby, and Diana are only on screen for less than a minute, but their names are listed in the end Credits. Check it out in the clip below:
I give Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves a roll of 8.5/10, and I am definitely willing to watch it again on the big screen when it officially releases on March 31. Let's go!
- anim8trix

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Victoria Alonso EXITS Marvel...

Is this a move toward more Comic Accurate Marvel movies?
Does Her Departure Signal Big Changes at Disney?

Victoria Alonso -- who has been credited with many of the idiotic decisions made during Phase 4 including the name change and race swap of Namor -- is GONE. Yes, Disney has apparently ousted her. But they won't admit they ousted her. They're making it out like it was HER decision. Given how the mainstream media is taking Disney and the MCU to task lately, coupled with Ant-Man 3's dismal box office, we KNOW what actually went down. Does this mean we'll get PROPER X-Men in the MCU?

Monday, March 20, 2023

Tears of the Machine will Fall in 2023...

Here's your look at the opening movie for Crymachina, an upcoming game
coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC in fall 2023.
In Crymachina, humanity has gone extinct and synthetic beings known as Dei ex Machina have been tasked with bringing mankind back. Join three E.V.E, the recreated psyches of deceased humans instilled in synthetic bodies, as they seek their full-fledged humanity while unveiling the secrets of the world around them. Sci-fi visuals meets fast-paced flashy RPG gameplay in this dark and emotionally-driven journey to discover what it means to be human.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Actor in 'John Wick' franchise has died at age 60...

Lance Solomon Reddick
(June 7, 1962 – March 17, 2023)
Actor who starred in The Wire and John Wick series has died
Lance Solomon Reddick was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Dorothy Gee and Solomon Reddick. He attended Friends School of Baltimore. As a teenager, he studied music at the Peabody Preparatory Institute and a summer program teaching music theory and composition at the Walden School. Reddick studied classical music composition at University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in the 1980s. Reddick attended the Yale School of Drama in the early 1990s, receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1994.

Reddick was cast as Cedric Daniels in the HBO series The Wire, having auditioned also for the roles of Bubbles and Bunk Moreland. He joined ABC's series Lost in 2008, where he played Matthew Abaddon, an employee of Charles Widmore, in multiple episodes. He was the third of five actors from the HBO series Oz to star in the drama. The Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were interested in Reddick for the part of Mr. Eko, but he was busy filming The Wire.

Reddick released his debut album Contemplations & Remembrances in 2007, and in early 2008, he was cast in a key role in the pilot of Fringe in which his fellow Oz actor, Kirk Acevedo, also had a regular role. Reddick played Phillip Broyles, the head of an FBI department investigating paranormal activities. Reddick described this character as "a real hard-ass, but he's also one of the good guys." Like Lost, Fringe was co-created and produced by J. J. Abrams. There was some doubt about whether Reddick could appear in both Lost and Fringe in the 2008–2009 television season. However, Abrams stated that, even though Reddick was a series regular on Fringe, he would do episodes of Lost whenever required. Reddick appeared in the 2013 thriller White House Down. He starred in the YouTube web series DR0NE, where he was also credited as a co-producer.

In 2014, Reddick appeared as Charon in the action-thriller film John Wick, a role he has reprised in its two sequels. In July 2021, it was confirmed that Reddick would reprise his role in John Wick: Chapter 4. He voiced the character Commander Zavala in the 2014 and 2017 video games Destiny and Destiny 2, respectively.

Also in 2014, he started portraying Chief Irvin Irving in the Amazon Prime series Bosch. Comparing his three large roles as police commanders, Reddick said that Daniels, his character from The Wire, is "a cop at heart", while Broyles, his Fringe character, is "a soldier", and Irving "is the quintessential politician".

Reddick was a spokesman in television commercials for Cree LED Bulbs.

In 2016, Reddick was cast in the post-apocalyptic horror film The Domestics. The film was released on June 28, 2018. Reddick later starred in the 2018 horror thriller film Monster Party. He also voiced the character Sylens in the 2017 video game Horizon Zero Dawn and reprised his role in the sequel Horizon Forbidden West. In 2021, Reddick appeared in the film Godzilla vs. Kong. In 2022, Reddick portrayed Albert Wesker in the live action Resident Evil Netflix series, which was cancelled after one season.

He will appear posthumously as the Greek god Zeus in the upcoming series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Disney+ adaption of the book series of the same name.

Reddick died from natural causes aged 60 on March 17, 2023, at his home in Los Angeles. Tributes were paid by colleagues and friends, including Reddick's Wire co-stars Wendell Pierce and Isiah Whitlock Jr., The Wire creator David Simon, and his John Wick co-stars Keanu Reeves and Ian McShane. Players of the games Destiny and Destiny 2 visited Reddick's character, Commander Zavala, saluting him or sitting in silence side by side.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Next Club Meeting is March 25, 2023

A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K

"This is the WAY... to the next Animatrix Meeting!"

  M O N T H L Y   M E E T I N G

Fountaindale Public Library
300 W. Briarcliff Road
Bolingbrook, IL  60440
Board Room (2nd Floor)
Saturday, March 25, 2023
11:15 AM - 5:00 PM
We will be in the BOARD ROOM on the Second Floor.
Hope to see everyone there!

A Viewing Schedule will be posted soon.
Hope to see you all there!

(Click below for maps)

Friday, March 17, 2023

DreamWorks' Answer to Disney's Little Mermaid...

Ruby Gillman, T e e n a g e  Kraken
 Sometimes the hero you are meant to be lies just beneath the surface.
This summer, DreamWorks Animation dives into the turbulent waters of high school with a hilarious, heartfelt action comedy about a shy teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed. 
Sweet, awkward 16-year-old Ruby Gillman (Lana Condor, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before franchise) is desperate to fit in at Oceanside High, but she mostly just feels invisible. 
She’s math-tutoring her skater-boy crush (Jaboukie Young-White, Ralph Breaks the Internet), who only seems to admire her for her fractals, and she’s prevented from hanging out with the cool kids at the beach because her over-protective supermom (Oscar nominee Toni Collette, Knives Out), has forbade Ruby from ever getting in the water. 
But when she breaks her mom’s #1 rule, Ruby will discover that she is a direct descendant of the warrior Kraken queens and is destined to inherit the throne from her commanding grandmother (Academy Award winner Jane Fonda), the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas. 
The Kraken are sworn to protect the oceans of the world against the vain, power-hungry mermaids who have been battling with the Kraken for eons. There’s one major, and immediate, problem with that: The school’s beautiful, popular new girl, Chelsea (Emmy winner Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek) just happens to be a mermaid. Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and go big to protect those she loves most. 
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken stars an extraordinary cast that includes Emmy winner Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead) as Ruby’s supportive dad, Emmy nominee Sam Richardson (Veep) as Ruby’s enthusiastic uncle and Blue Chapman (Council of Dads) as Ruby’s cool little brother. 
The upcoming animated movie stars Lana Condor, Jaboukie Young-White, Toni Collette, Jane Fonda, Annie Murphy, Colman Domingo, Sam Richardson, and Blue Chapman. Directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Kirk DeMicco (Vivo, The Croods) and produced by Kelly Cooney Cilella (Trolls World Tour, Trolls), with Faryn Pearl (The Croods: A New Age, Trolls World Tour) serving as co-director, the film features a comedic powerhouse supporting cast, including Emmy nominee Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), Emmy nominee Nicole Byer (Nailed It!), YouTube Diamond creator Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand), Ramona Young (Never Have I Ever), Eduardo Franco (Stranger Things) and Echo Kellum (Arrow).