Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fast Five Special Effects -Alexandra Velarde

            Fast and Furious 5, is one of the sequels of The Fast and the Furious franchise. The movies have been so successful that there was a sixth movie and they are currently filming the seventh one.  The movies have all been very popular, but I am strongly inclined to believe that the special effects have a lot to do with the triumph of the franchise. Without the special effects, the cars in the movie would not be so “fast and furious”. The movies are about a group of criminals who get in all sorts of trouble, and have a passion for nice cars.
            According to Understanding Movies, “Moviegoers are not usually consciously aware of how sound affects them, but they are constantly manipulated by the mixer’s synthesis (Giannetti, 8).” In one of the scenes of Fast Five, the characters are about to be arrested for committing crimes all over the world. The main character Dominic Torretto is having a show-down with Luke Hobbs who is a federal agent. Toretto and his gang arrive while an upbeat and intense song is playing. As Agent Hobbs confronts them, the music becomes slower, but is clearly leading up to something. They are at a party in Brazil, and people from both teams begin to hold up their guns and the trigger sound was so loud and clear that it was clearly a special effect. This scene is a form of pathos because it gets the audience nervous about what is going to happen next. It is also ethos because it shows how the characters are fearless in a way.
            There is another scene that has a lot of special effects. The “bad guys” are trying to kill the main characters, and it involves a lot of shooting. They use submachine guns, so they are all firing like crazy. The sound of the guns, and the fire that seems to come out when they shoot are special effects. There are also moments where cars flip over, which is a way of using special effects to make the scene more extreme. The scene also includes slow motion scenes where the characters are running in order to avoid getting shot. This is all done in order to heighten the suspense and fear that the viewer is feeling, which is pathos. The guns that they use are also a form of logos because if a viewer sees that they are using a dangerous gun, they are more likely to feel fear and anxiety throughout the scene.
            One of the most exciting scenes of the movie involves the characters breaking into a bank by crashing their cars into it. Obviously, this is not something that could happen in real life because the car would have been the one that ended up destroyed, not the wall of the bank. This scene was made possible by special effects. The characters tie a vault to their cars, and are dragging it throughout the entire city. All the while, they are involved in a car chase. The cars are going extremely fast and there are loud noises such as screeching of tires and cars flipping over. All of these things are special effects that make the movie worth watching. These effects are a form of ethos because they show that the characters are troublemakers. They are also pathos because every “screech” and “bang” can make the audience jump out of their seats with so much excitement going on.
            “The world’s screens are dominated by soulless movies full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: pointless chases, explosions, gratuitous violence, explosions, lots of speed, explosions and just for good measure, more explosions (Giannetti, 4).” Fast Five uses all of these things, but it is definitely not pointless. If it were pointless, why would so many people go see it? It is also not soulless because there are emotional moments in the movie. This is one of my favorite movies and I recommend everyone go see it. I must admit, that without the special effects it would not be the same.




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