Live Blogging 'The Specialist'

Posted by  Been
November 30, 2012

For reasons known only to me I have decided a) to watch The Specialist (again), and b) to live blog it.  Yes, The Specialist, that 1994 movie starring Stallone! and Stone! and also James Woods.  You're welcome.

Let the record show that we (I'm dragging my poor roommate and cat into this) began watching at 8:08pm MST.

8:08 Auspicious beginning.  Colombia.  Stallone and Woods in camo.  Classic double-circle binocular view.

8:09 "Pull the plug, Ned.  There's a kid in the car!"  Stallone is the one with heart.  Woods is obviously the villain.  They may as well have their roles tattooed on their foreheads.

8:10 RUN!  Ka-BOOM!  Not to spoil things but two minutes in and already a car has blown up and plunged off a bridge.

8:11 The dialogue is basically the cliché-meets-"let's throw darts at books until sentences emerge" style of writing.

8:12 Four minutes in and Stallone is already bloody.  Quick cut to titles and a new city.  I'm going to guess Miami based on the palm trees, mini skirts, and neon.

8:14 This movie was filmed eighteen years ago.  The payphone would have given that away if the styling didn't.

8:16 Friend to cats.  Rider of public transit.  Stallone is gunning for the Everyman Award.

8:17 First glimpse of Stone.  I will say this: Sharon Stone is unbelievably stunning.  Whatever becomes of her acting (spoiler: not much) she is definitely beautiful.

8:18 Blue lit memory sequence.  "I never thought... blood would be so sticky."  I think I've made that exact sentence with my vampire fridge poetry.

8:20 Eric Roberts?!  What?!  Now it's real.  Woods and Roberts together is real.  Eric Roberts is like slime personified.

8:23 Blowing a smoke ring.  Impressing the girl.  She's wearing the hell out of that dress and appears to be professionally sulky.  Roberts is clearly some kind of mob nut.  I'm not sure plot is important but I think she's freelancing some kind of personal vendetta undercover gig.

8:25 Back on public transit Stallone shows us what he's made of.  Men disrespect a pregnant lady?  Shit just got real!

8:27 I'm pretty sure he just said "I hate knifes."

8:30 Roberts is throwing his weight around, showing off, punching dudes in a bar: I think it's plot related but Stone, like me, is bored of the machismo and walks off.

8:31 Stallone has been following Stone around, watching Roberts grope her, while listening to recordings of her phone conversations with him on headphones.  Over a soft piano music score.  It's like highly unsexy softcore voyeur porn.

8:34 Stallone and Roberts trade insults.  Stallone doesn't flinch when Roberts pulls a blade.  A blade!  So tough!  When do they have a dance-off and pop their collars?

8:35 It's funny to me that Stone's undercover character name is 'Adrienne'.  I dearly hope there's a moment later for Stallone to yell out "Adrienne!"

8:36 Stone is smoking naked.  Whatever you're envisioning that might be hot, stop.

8:38 Stallone is wearing a festive Hawaiian shirt!

8:40 A secondary character just got shot and Stallone has activated a bomb rigged on a door.  Just over a half hour in and we get our second explosion.  Little slow for a nineties blockbuster, Luis Llosa.

8:42 There's a lot of mafioso in the onscreen Roberts clan.  A lot of posturing.  Plot stuff.  Woods is involved.  The most important thing to note is that Roberts is wearing bright red high waisted pants.

8:44 Stallone, rocking the mom jeans!

8:46 Stallone, half-naked, veiny, doing some kind of tae kwon do in a highly sweaty environment.  Overdubbed with another saucy phone conversation between him and Stone.  Interspersed with shots of her in a thong pressing bodily up against filmy white curtains.  I feel... dirty.  Like I'm trapped in a rejected 80s Madonna video with no way out.

8:49 Woods is in a jaunty white jacket, white shirt, black and white polka dot tie combo.  The other cops in the bomb squad aren't so much pissed off at his attitude as jealous of his style, I'm thinking.

8:51 Woods made a pen bomb to prove that he's unhinged and really good at fucking with stationery.  Seasoned cops are wide-eyed and shitting themselves:  We have literally never seen such a bad ass!  In such a saucy sport coat!

8:54 Stone insults Roberts' interior decorator.  I feel her there.  But I also think she must have pissed off wardrobe because that coat is nine sizes too big for her.

8:57 Bomb plan foiled.

8:58 Or not.

8:59 In which we are treated to the amazing visual of a man on fire hurtling through the air strapped to a car seat.

9:01 Is Stone wearing wallpaper?  No, worse, it's a matched brocade nightgown and robe combo.  And could it be that she's involved in a double-cross?  I can NOT believe that Sharon Stone would be cast as a duplicitous femme fatale of questionable moral standing.

9:04 Bomb-making music and a fresh white tee for Stallone which he is getting all sweaty.  No, you're not turned on.  Don't be turned on.

9:05 Stallone, deep undercover in a polo shirt and tennis racket ensemble.

9:06 Roberts in another pair of ill-advised high waisted pants.  His hair is feathered.  Feathered!

9:07 Roberts blew up!  Apparently so did Stone?  I blame wardrobe.  After the first two divine outfits they appeared to have had a falling out.

9:11 Obituary that reveals, belatedly, that Stone was an agent.  Of the police variety as well as the double kind.  The plot, it is a dense labyrinth of mystery and bad acting.

9:15 In which Woods loses his shit after Stallone bests him on - wait for it - a payphone call.

9:17 Stallone approaches Stone's casket... it isn't her!  But wait... who is that stylish shadow sauntering into the church backlit by sun, veiled, leggy?  Yes, it's her.  She lives!  And... Stallone falls to his knees in front of her and pulls a wire out of her garter... I am fairly certain this plot was assembled from four other movies.

9:20 Hotel room.  Stallone.  Stone.  People, this is what we've been waiting for.  All that softcore voyeurism has been building to this perfect union.  And now that it's here I'm kind of nauseous.

9:21 Saxophone.  Because of course.

9:22 Shower.  OMIGOD STALLONE'S ASS!  I AM BLIND!  And still... and... dear god, will this ever end?

9:23  Oh lord, my eyes... they are like two tangled burnt sienna crayons in a puddle...

9:24 Dialogue, while naked, casually soaping up in the world's most vast hotel shower.

9:25 For the love of all that is holy, put on clothes!

9:27 Stone just bitch-slapped a woman in the lobby bathroom.

9:28 Stallone is rigging the hotel window with something that we just know will end up exploding.

9:29 Surprise!  It wasn't the window, it was the phone.  And now... the whole room!  Yes, the entire room just broke off the side of the building and fell into water.  Do not employ your grey matter.  Nothing makes sense.  Black is white.  Down is up.

9:31 Obligatory escape-through-hotel-kitchen scene.

9:32 Double-double-cross by Woods.  Double-crossing the double-crossing by Stone.  It would matter if I a) followed the plot, or b) cared.

9:34 "You're too much of an unknown.  Adrienne Hastings.  May Munroe.  Who the hell are you?"  Questions the audience is also asking.

9:36  I'm still trying to figure out if Woods' car is dark pink or light red.

9:38 Explosion!  Two explosions!  Woods has crabs!

9:40 Some late-in-the-game detective work here.  When all else fails, do your job.  But only as a last resort.

9:41 Stallone is naked and reclining on pillows: he has black sheets on his bed, of course.  Though I have black sheets on my bed so I wonder what that says about me.  I suddenly question my bedding choices in life.

9:43 My roommate notes the abrupt shift from Sexy Scene Music to Dramatic Scene Music.

9:44 Are you sitting down?  Because it will surely come as a shock that Stallone has rigged his own warehouse with sequential bombs if 'the outer perimeter is breached'.  Is that also a euphemism?

9:46 It is worth noting that at this point I have officially lost count of the explosions.

9:47 Bombs in the warehouse.  Bomb in Stone's cigarette case.  The movie was a bomb.  I enjoy the continuation of theme.

9:50 They saved the cat!  Feelings for the first time in this movie.

9:51 So many explosions, people.  All the things are blowing up everywhere, it's mayhem, it's badly-scored chaos.

9:52 One more bomb because why not?

9:53 Cue the Gloria Estefan dance beat as Stallone and Stone drive off in a convertible.  What?  They live?  God, this movie.

We reached the end, glory be, and it was a hot mess from start to finish.  It's so bad it's almost awesome.  The Specialist, I have no idea why you exist but you bring me twisted joy.

Copyright Corinne Simpson

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