The Wachowski brothers ''put themselves under an undue amount of pressure to outdo themselves,'' says Laurence Fishburne of the directors of the two Matrix sequels due out this year. ''The voices inside their heads kept saying 'We have to make it bigger and better than the first one.''' The famously reclusive brothers aren't talking about May's ''Reloaded'' or November's ''Revolutions,'' but this much we do know: Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) again joins Keanu Reeves' Neo to rage against the machines in CGI-heavy ''Reloaded,'' while ''Revolutions'' occurs in the so-called real world and features a 17-minute showdown. Both sequels introduce ''virtual cinematography,'' a nifty new trick created to erase memories of all those widely imitated slo-mo bullet shots.
If the sequels don't top the first movie, the videogame, ''Enter the Matrix,'' might: The big-screen actors (including Jada Pinkett Smith, pictured) shot an hour of new footage specifically for ''Enter'' (due in May). Throw in a special animated DVD collection (due in June), and it's no wonder that Fishburne asks, ''God forbid the movies should tank, right?''