If you think two Matrix films in the span of six months is enough to sate your sci-fi appetite, think again. Joel Silver and Warner Bros. have produced nine animated shorts that provide back story for the trilogy of films. Four of the nine will be debuted on the web, while "Final Flight of the Osiris" is playing in theatres before Dreamcatcher, starting this Friday. All nine shorts will be available for purchase on DVD on June 3rd. The first two short films are now available in Quicktime format. "Program," the most recent release, is an impressive animated battle inside a training program. While this material was covered in the first film, the animation alone is worth your attention. Much more praise, however, should be paid to the first released short, "The Second Renaissance Part 1." This feature details the war between humans and machines, a cool albeit eerie story as the world enters its own war. While the short films are an attempt to cash-in on a popular brand name in film, the detail of the first two animated shorts suggest that the Wachowskis have more in mind than selling more merchandise. While the eminent sci-fi franchise, Star Wars, falters amongst fans due to its "make it up as we go along" storyline, the Wachowski Brothers seem to have a definite plan and story arc. These animated shorts are impressive, but they merely hint at what is to come this summer and fall.


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