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Special (2010)

Michael Rapaport , Hal Haberman , Jeremy Passmore  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Rapaport
  • Directors: Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment - Mongrel Media
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Special" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Making of Special
  • Commentary

Editorial Reviews

Les Franken (Michael Rapaport) is a kind-hearted and soft-spoken man who loves reading comic books. He s the type of guy who most people walk by on the street without even
noticing. However, everything changes for Les the day he is
accepted into an experimental drug study. As he begins to take the drugs, an unexpected side effect occurs - he develops special powers. In an effort to use his new talents for protecting others, Les finds himself in a predicament to save himself.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rappaport doesn't disappoint. April 4, 2009
Anyone who is a fan of Michael Rappaport is sure to love this movie but even if you aren't a known fan of his, this movie has a lot to offer.

I would suggest not reading too much about the plot because honestly I felt the way they promoted this movie was right, they just stuck to telling you he takes an experimental drug and gets super powers. But the synopsis on just about every site out there spoils a fairly early "twist" and I ddon't see any reason for it.

Without giving much away this movie has a lot of really nice "human" moments. Those moments that most people out there can really connect to the character with. Some are funny, some are sad, some are just plain strange.

But one thing this movie doesn't do is disappoint.

If you are unsure, either download it from Amazon Unbox or rent the movie from your preferred renter, but definitely give this movie a shot, you may find, like me, that it will make a spot on your DVD shelf to call it's home.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not easy being a superhero... April 28, 2009
(Magnet Films, 2009)
This is an intense, and rather depressing film about a mild-mannered Joe Schmoe (wonderfully played by Michael Rapaport) who thinks he has tapped into his hidden superpowers after he takes part in an experimental drug program. Is what he experiences real or not? Well, the film actually answers this question immediately: he is in fact delusional, but because his delusions involve a sense of power and invulnerability, he soon places himself in great physical danger.

Rapaport is quite good in this role, giving a moving, multi-layered performance, and he is generally matched by his supporting cast. (Particularly strong are his schlubby friends, who own a comicbook store -- their reactions to the announcement that their friend has superpowers is *not* what you'd expect.) Although towards the finish, this film becomes unrelentingly bleak and harsh, it is an interesting exploration of the psychology and mythology of "specialness" which pervades American culture. Are we all special? Should we hope to be? Here's one perspective that you might not have seen before... And certainly a strong role for Rapaport, whose puppy-dog qualities have seldom been used so well. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film blog)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes! April 30, 2009
This is what I watch movies for. This is what keeps me searching through the endless piles of junk. This movie is a story that will linger. Completely memorable, and brilliant! One of the best movies I've seen in a while.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It's not easy being special, but it is easier than being ordinary, than having to remind yourself day in and out that you do something important just to make it through the day.

A small pharmaceutical company is testing a new drug that promises to make its users unique, and an ordinary guy (Michael Rappaport) signs up. He begins to notice changes very quickly, and is certain that with his new powers he can change the world. But not everyone wants him to have powers, and men in suits are out to get him; even some of his friends refuse to believe in him when confronted with the evidence.

This is a small and subtle film about an ordinary lonely guy who needs to believe in himself. Michael Rapaport is convincing in the lead role, though most of the other characters are underdeveloped. The story is novel and intelligent, thematically close to films like Taxi Driver, with a lighter touch but a less assured tone and look. The settings and lighting are spare and appropriate, but the handheld camera seemed at odds with the formalistic and tight framing of the shots. Sometimes handheld lends an aura of authenticity - but here given the scarcity of camera movement, it seemed odd they didn't put the camera on a tripod.

An intriguing character study, and a thoughtful exploration of the superhero genre; well worth watching for those who like indie films.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-Bending, Heart-Warming, Super-Powered Cult Classic November 1, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is phenomenal. Rapaport delivers an almost unexpected dedicated and amazing performance. 'Special's low budget is more than obvious, however, the sum is greater than the parts with this cinematic gem. This movie had me laughing, gasping, holding my breath and wiping my tears.

The movie embodies many of the superhero myths, while also embracing the awkward, sardonic and melancholic mood of an independent film. Les Franken, a stereotypical comic fanboy, gains super abilities while taking an experimental anti-depressant. Les attempts heroism with a deceiving new lease on life, and ends up fighting in the most epic battle he's ever faced, most of which takes place within his mind. His sense of reality and self is challenged in almost every way. Poor self-esteem being Les's ultimate weakness, his ego is the only thing holding him back from facing down his antagonists and psychological demons.

The film has a subtle message on the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry, or lack their of, but 'Special' ends with a much more profound lesson about a man's resolve.. the will to not be defeated, and what it means to be a hero, even if it's just your own.

Highly Recommended, But with a warning: It's well crafted but low-budget
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Special Comes Off A Little Less Than...
When adventuring off the grid to low-budget independent movies one usually is pleasantly inspired by plot, acting, and the depth of character that main-stream Hollywood usually... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mr. Sinister
4.0 out of 5 stars A Most Unusual Movie
A Most Unusual Movie-This movie is a great original storyline with great acting to go with it. Michael shows his acting chops. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hard to Find Music and Movies
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st century Don Quixote
DON'T watch this expecting a superhero movie. DO watch it because it's a terrific movie about a guy whose life goes off the tracks in a way that's simultaneously hilarious and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Redpenned
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Cool movie
Published 3 months ago by Allan Burks
3.0 out of 5 stars Will entertain a bit.
Original, but do not expect an amazing film. Film quality feels more like a T.V. series. I hoped for a little more.
Published 4 months ago by Gabriel Suarez
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of questions
I really enjoyed the movie. It is one of those movies that makes you wonder if you could "slip up" like that, and make a real mess out of things. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bishop
5.0 out of 5 stars Erika
I wanted to see my friend who played the pregnant lady in the street scene, and her borther-in-law, who played her husband.
Published 6 months ago by Adrienne Blando
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad idea, but this movie is best kept at a distance
Do yourself a favor and avoid this one. Oh, it's not awful, just really bad. I'm not sure if the script was awful or the directors "vision" was, but it's a stinker.
Published 15 months ago by Techspec
1.0 out of 5 stars It made me sad.
Ugh. Well made but a depressing story for sure. Skip this one but not because it is poorly acted, because it is depressing.
Published 17 months ago by David Lofton
1.0 out of 5 stars Dumb
I thought there might have been some cute moments in this movie but by the end I was kicking myself for having watched it.
Published 18 months ago by Robyn C. Miller
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