The other day the warm-up at work was set to 'Turn the Beat Around' by Gloria Estefan. Which immediately made me think of Miami. Which, naturally, immediately made me think of the Sylvester Stallone/Sharon Stone flick The Specialist. (VampireNomad Word Association: Gloria Estefan = Miami. Miami = The Specialist.)

The Specialist is not a good movie. But it is, fittingly, special. It's special in the way it portrays more male ass than female. It's special in that it sits on the knife-edge of the time between when Sylvester Stallone was a highly bankable action star and the time after that when he was a sort-of bankable former action star. It's special in that Eric Roberts is the villain and all movies in which Eric Roberts is the villain are definitively special in ways that can't be described with words (see also: Heaven's Prisoners). It's special in that Sharon Stone doesn't so much act as she smokily pouts in a sort of highly sexual monotone through the entirety of the film movie flick. And it's special because James Woods is in it. (If James Woods isn't special to you, you don't watch enough Family Guy and/or you've never seen Videodrome.) Of course Sharon Stone and James Woods would go on to make a truly good movie film together in the form of Casino but The Specialist isn't Casino and both Stone and Woods had, arguably, a lot more to learn in the form of special movies before Casino could happen so The Specialist is one of those important steps towards future glory that people love to deride but that in retrospect are revealed as necessary.

The point, however, is that being at work suddenly made me want to watch The Specialist. But when I set out to rent a copy, I COULD NOT FIND ONE.

In the absence of The Specialist I was forced (using the term lightly to mean "chose of my own eager volition") to watch Basic Instinct. Again. While my Sharon Stone/questionable thriller needs did not go unsatisfied, it wasn't Basic Instinct I had wanted that night. It was The Specialist. So, for me, but also as a service for all of you, I present the following The Specialist Pictorial to satisfy anyone's sudden desire to see the movie flick and rectify any rental outlet's dire lack of possession of a copy.

This may contain spoilers. I'm not sure if I remember the plot accurately enough to provide spoilers or if there was enough plot to contain anything I could spoil. Either way, you've been warned.

The Specialist (1994)

A Pictorial.

The poster's tagline reads "The government taught him to kill. Now, he's using his skills to help one woman seek revenge against the Miami underworld."

There exists some back story involving James Woods and Sly in the same army unit and a dead kid.

Present day.
Sly is now a private investigator/muscle for hire type of underground 'good' guy. He doesn't meet clients in person. He phones them. From pay phones. Most likely because he squats lives in a big warehouse.

Sharon Stone attends a party and is pretty.

Eric Roberts is at the party. He's the villain because he is Eric Roberts.

But also because Sharon is not happy about flirting and dancing with him.

Sharon tries to hire Sly to kill Eric Roberts. She only knows his voice over the phone. But he knows more than that because he's been watching her.

He watched her at the graveyard, for example, where she laid flowers on her parents' grave and took off her shoes.

Turns out Eric Roberts and/or his dad, boss of the Miami mob, killed her parents.

And James Woods is now some kind of cop who secretly works for Eric Roberts.

Sharon fakes her own death so Sly decides to break his phone-only rule and meet her. At her own funeral. They decide to get to know each other and talk about the possibility of him killing Eric Roberts for her.

They get to know each other in bed...

... on the floor...

... and in the shower.

Still, Sharon decides to continue her plan to infiltrate Eric Roberts' operation on her own. Under the assumed name of 'Adrian'.

This goes badly and Sharon is forced by James Woods to double-cross Sly.

But Sly is wise to them all and does some shirtless exercising, after feeding his cat, while pondering how to rescue Sharon.

Sly gets Sharon to his warehouse and they try to figure a way out of the bomb booby-trap set by James Woods. Did I mention that James Woods is an explosives expert?

A lot of running/exploding type of action follows.

The cat makes it. The bad guys, not so much.

Things are good.

The End.

**Disclaimer: All photos are the property of Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. However, my site makes no money and doesn't try to. If the photo usage still upsets you, contact me and I'll remove them. Otherwise, how bad can it be that I'm re-advertising a movie everyone has long since pretty happily forgotten? I'm just saying.**