1 May 2016 | bfharbinger
The Second Renaissance retold by horror sequel "artists" and a great VFX team.
I stumbled upon this short on a CG site (http://www.cgchannel.com/2016/04/see-how-david- karlak-made-rise-his-amazing-sci-fi-short/), where it was getting accolades for its innovation and vision. Although the visual effects struck me as modern and well done, what I found most striking was how much of this short seemed to be near shot-for-shot copies of Lilly and Lana Wachowski's "Second Renaissance" sequences from "The Animatrix" and how no one seemed to have called them on it. A simple example is the scene of the female droid being pulled between rioters while she is shot from behind. There are many others. Indeed, with the exception of a few details, the plot of this short is the same as a portion the "Second Renaissance."
If the material had appeared to be original I would have been truly impressed, as the visuals are interesting and I do enjoy a bit of science fiction confection from time to time. I might have given this effort a 7 or 8 out of 10 if I'd never been exposed to the Wachowski's work. The unimaginative nature of the script and direction dropped my rating down to a 1 or 2, upgraded by the competent use of modern VFX technology and some really well done animation. The actors have done a solid job with the material, lending a professional sound and character to the film; but, they can't escape the inertia of the writers and director.
If this whole thing ended up being some kind of wild marketing campaign to launch a prequel to the "Matrix" movies, produced under pseudonyms to protect the guilty, I'd be thrilled. I doubt that's what's going on here.