The Matrix: A New Revolution
At the end of the 21st century, during the year 1999, arose a science fiction film known as The Matrix. This particular movie brought a whole new aspect to the film industry. Winning four academy awards, The Matrix is praised for its use of innovative visual and special effects, cinematography, and animation. The Matrix is and always will be one of the most idolized and respected films that laid down the foundations for the future era of special effects.
This unique film is best known for creating the special effect scene known as “Bullet Time”. Bullet time was created using a special technique called “Flow-Mo” that allows almost unlimited flexibility in creating and controlling the speed and movement of special effects. It all begins on top of a dusty old rooftop where two men are engaged in aggressive combat. The camera is moving in a slow circular motion to portray different perspectives, giving the viewer a more realistic feel. As the hostile battle continues, one of the men pulls out a gun and begins firing bullet after bullet. Throughout this moment, as a viewer, you can hear and feel the effect of the trigger being pulled and the primer igniting the spark in order to release the bullet. Once the bullet has left the chamber, the special effects truly begin to take hold. Now, in most movies you are not able to see the bullet travel through time, but the directors and producers from this sci-fi phenomenon created a new sensation by allowing the viewer to see these bullets travel in slow motion as it progresses on its path toward its designated target. This conveys an accurate representation of the magnificent strength, speed, and power that a bullet withholds as it travels through time and space creating a rippling effect through the air.
In addition, the scene continues as the man being fired upon dodges the incoming bullets in a slow clockwise motion, with the camera shooting from all different angles. It’s mesmerizing how this scene is created, depicting such a surreal moment. Often times it has been said that, “The story is usually predictable, the acting bereft of nuance, the sentiments of banal. But the special effects are impeccable” (Special Effects 35). Special effects play a key role in providing movies become visually more spectacular. Many movies can easily be foreshadowed, although the incorporation of special effects, can twist the film a complete 180 giving it a more appealing outlook. The risk to reward ratio is extraordinary. The use of special effects can truly make or break a movie, and if used correctly can provide the viewers with mental images that can help enrich their view of the world.
The characteristics of special effects can allow individuals around the world connect with their imaginations in a unique and profound way. At times, individuals use rhetorical devices such as ethos, pathos, and logos to help support their argument in an influential manner. The scene “Bullet Time” strongly favors the pathos aspect in a sense that appeals directly to the viewers’ emotions. Personally, this particular scene brings back past childhood memories of my love and excitement as a young boy pretending to perform these elite slow motion moves acting as if I was in the dream-like world they call The Matrix. On the other hand, many people may feel that the lack of ethos and logos present in this scene will hinder its credibility and logical well being, but I feel that some scenes, such as “Bullet Time”, embrace the quality of its development rather than the quantity. In Everything’s An Argument, the philosophical Greek word, Kairos emerges stating that, “As Kairos dashes by, you have a chance to seize that opportune moment” (Lunsford 27). Re-watching this movie now, allows me to realize that the cast and crew of The Matrix took advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime; that ended up being a defining moment in their careers. It takes risk in the world these days to become successful, but if you’re willing to lay it all on the line for something you love, I believe it’s well worth the investment! Frequently people say, “No sacrifice, No victory” and I hold true to this statement.
In the end, I feel as if the special effects in The Matrix helped create a new revolution within the film industry. Most people may view this film as unbelievable and completely ridiculous, although that may be true in some aspects, I felt as if it was a great movie to reminisce about past memories and see the emergence of special effects impact society in a positive way. Therefore, I rate this film a 5 out of 5 Slurpee’s and would highly recommend it to anyone who has a knack for the sole love of special effects!