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The Specials

 Unrated   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Product Description


"How do you get to be a Special? You go to a special school." The jibes one endures when a part of the "sixth or seventh best superhero team in the world." The Strobe (Thomas Haden Church) has become vain and self-absorbed, his frustrated wife Ms. Indestructible (Paget Brewster) has gone looking for love in the arms of the Weevil (Rob Lowe), and sex-mad, blue-faced punk Amok (Jamie Kennedy) is getting bored with being a good guy and longs for his supervillain days, when he could sneak a cigarette without publicity fallout. The team is like a bored group of kids stuck indoors on a rainy day, and inaction and frustration has led to backbiting, infighting, love affairs, and long-held grudges. The hilariously disastrous unveiling of their action figures (with such absurd accessories as "a giant meat thermometer") is the final straw: the Specials are no more.

On the surface The Specials looks like a sitcom version of Mystery Men with a droller sense of humor ("Remember the time we caught and drained the Blister?"). The sly script drops the misfit bunch into a suburban world where superheroes are just another part of the media and marketing landscape. First-time director Craig Mazin is a little clumsy putting it all together and perhaps too effectively captures the bland, everyday-ness of the setting, but he tweaks familiar clichés with straight-faced absurdity. The underplayed performances and deadpan gags soon catch up to the concept, and by the end it emerges as the funniest, smartest superhero parody in ages. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

The Specials

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Thomas Haden Church Movie --- EVER! June 10 2003
For anybody just becoming a fan of Thomas Haden Church, I'd advise you to see this movie.
This is Thomas at his best (also, it was before his brunette period! - if you don't believe me, see that new episode of "Lucky" called 'The Method' that he was in. He's USUALLY a blonde).
I like almost every character in this movie and there is never a dull moment!
You'll find yourself quoting the scene where they discuss the action figure celebration in the boardroom, which turns into an arguement
about Amok's actions.
The Great Strobe needs his own comic book. Badly. Just as long as Archie Comics and Ken Penders aren't involved.
I have another suggestion to new Thomas Haden Church fans, avoid "Susan's Plan... Dying to Get Rich" and "3000 Miles to Graceland".
Both movies are bad and... I hate that hairdresser chick in SP:DTGR. She's just scary.
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4.0 out of 5 stars going to special school May 13 2003
something that i didnt see in any of the current reviews is a mention that this is kind of a mock-u-mentary. what does that mean??? well, for one it means that the production values are low, likely because of a lack of budget, but i would argue that the production value complements and plays with the nature of the specials, the 6th or 7th greatest super team.
one guy gave this film a 1, wich i do not agree with at all. from reading the review, it seems to me that this person was looking for an 'eye candy' movie, which, usually superhero movies are predisposed to being, but this film is entirely driven by the characters. the movie would have been fine without the 2 min of effects at the end, and i was suprized to see them, they did in fact look better than the production value of the rest of the film suggested, very likely that is where a good hunk of the films budget went.
it is realy tempting to give this movie more than 4, but i dont think it deserves 5.
i am a fan of Thomas Hadden Church, and though this is not one of his best roles, fans of him, or the other actors will like this movie
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5.0 out of 5 stars SO much better than Mystery Men Feb. 6 2002
Don't get me wrong Mystery Men was good... But this movie (the Specials) Is GREAT! I was laughing the whole way through and just enjoying the fun original script and simply Superb cast! Whoever cast this film knew what they were doing because they had some of the funniest and coolest actors around. I can't recommend this dvd enough. It's funny, cool and enjoyable... And if that wasn't enough the dvd has heaps of special features including some great deleted scenes... check it out it really is hillarious!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A real superhero spoof Jan. 23 2002
By A Customer
A nice little 'cult' film. It is a more deadpan and less goofy version of "Mystery Men", which was funny, but never really lived up to its potential. This film is funny,with some nice, but inconsistant writing. The story is about very unheroic superheroes, and the realtivly banal lives they lead. If you expect them to go fight villans, you will be disappointed. In fact until the end, you never see them use thier powers. It is a very funny film, and a nice example of an odd and engaging film.
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The Specials are not in the forefront of superhero teams. They're not in the rear either, they're the heroes who handle the oddball jobs because they're the oddballs.
However, all is not well behind the scenes - jealousies, relations, and a desire to not be so behind the superhero curve mean this is a rather dysfunctional superhero family. It's Spinal Tap meets the Mystery Men as this band of second-string superheroes vainly tries to be something when their worst enemies are themselves.
This is an odd, but engaging film, done on an extremely low budget. It's not the best edited, there's points in the scripting that seem poorly handled or slapped on. Much as the heroes it portrays, it's a low-level film trying to do its best.
Overall, it works. In some cases, surprisingly well. Seeing a disgruntled superhero debating going back to the supervillany of his youth is a wonderful touch.
This film is not for everyone - its strange, sometimes crude, and chaotic. If you're a fan of the Mystery Men, Doom Patrol, and comics about the weirdoes, and like your humor with a sharper edge, this may be for you. This is a cult hit waiting to happen.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Superhero Movie Ever Aug. 4 2001
Superheroes that never use their powers are not actually superheroes. Instead, they are pretty much just regular people with regular problems, which makes this movie extremely booooorrrrrring. Where's the special effects budget? Nobody knows.
Save two hours of your life, go read the Watchmen or Astro City graphics novels.
What the heck were they thinking?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The movie Mystery Men should have been! July 30 2001
Not as good as regular superheroes, but definitely better than you! The Specials, comprised of the sixth or seventh greatest superhero team in the world, need to improve their image. Unfortunately, they spend more time bickering about love affairs, finances and publicity, then they do catching Super Villains. However, The Specials' luck may soon change The Weevil (Rob Lowe), The Strobe (Thomas Hadden Church), Amok (Jamie Kennedy) and the rest of the The Specials hope to gain immortality with their own line of action figures...the superhero equivalent of an Academy Award.
I briefly heard about this movie late last year in radio promos. Even then it had sounded interesting. However, when it opened in Manhattan I was sure it would come to my town, but then it was gone. I felt cheated and rightfully so. This is a damn good movie. Now I have to warn you this is not an action movie, there is now spectacular effects, it is about these people, these superheroes lives. Having said that, the movie is a marvel of independant film making. The script shines and the characters remain true to themselves as they would in any good drama, and this, for all intents and purposes is a superhero drama. I found myself enjoying these character's company, and wondered what their lives would be like after the film faded to black. If you are a fan of any of the actor's or if you even remotely like comic books you must check this movie out.
I know what you are saying, been there done that with Mystery Men, That movie left me very disappointed, this one made up for that disappointment.
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