(Topic ID: 63630)

"Special When Lit" - watched last night


By PoMC

6 years ago



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  • 178 posts
  • 89 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Pinball4life
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    -2
    #1 6 years ago

    (Yes, I'm well aware this is several years old and many of you might have watched already. But it's new to me and maybe some other people haven't heard of it.)

    Ever watch a movie and enjoy it a lot, yet be so disappointed with it?

    Was terrific seeing all the pins, but the interviews with the designers and programmers were so brief. So much potential for an interesting documentary about PINBALL and instead this was, albeit hilariously entertaining, an episode of Hoarders: Pinball Edition. Or My Strange Addiction: Pinball Special.

    Sat down to watch this with my kids to give them some insight to the history and evolution of pinball... and most of the time we were sitting there like OMG WHAT THE HECK???

    I mean, really? The documentary HAD to waste time on middle age Waldo instead of Steve Ritchie and pinball machines? No way can I recommend this documentary to anyone as a serious doc on pinball. Can only recommend it in a train wreck, you gotta watch this, sort of way.

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    #2 6 years ago

    I mean, really? The documentary HAD to waste time on middle age Waldo instead of Steve Ritchie pinball machines?

    They did give this gentleman too much face time on this documentary, but I think they were trying to show the kooky side of pinball...which worked. I agree it's not worth watching if your not into pinball all that much...that being said, I have it on Netflix and have watched 4 or 5 times over the last year.

    -1
    #3 6 years ago

    Crap, I should have checked Netflix first. Duh. I downloaded it off Usenet....was only 900mb though.

    -2
    #4 6 years ago

    The editing during the Pingeek segment was hilarious though. Hearing him trying to sell his DVDs of the videos he took at old pinball expos, and then cutting to this huge hall room nearly empty, and showing the puzzled/amused/bewildered faces of the few people there.....comedy gold.

    #5 6 years ago

    Someone please get this man a shirt that fits him! Drove me crazy! Lol

    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from PoMC:

    The editing during the Pingeek segment was hilarious though. Hearing him trying to sell his DVDs of the videos he took at old pinball expos, and then cutting to this huge hall room nearly empty, and showing the puzzled/amused/bewildered faces of the few people there.....comedy gold.

    "This is one of my best sellers"....doubt that DVD money is rolling in anymore

    #7 6 years ago

    Removed Post - after reading Sam was basically bullied after documentary.

    #8 6 years ago

    I agree, the movie was a disappointment. It devoted way too much face time to insignificant aspects of the hobby. I thought "Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball" was a much better documentary. Admittedly, its focus on Pinball 2000 is much narrower.

    #9 6 years ago

    I recently watched The History of Pinball. It was a great one, really informative.

    #10 6 years ago

    the guy had a great collection "jaws" memorabilia.

    I really enjoyed seeing all those different games also, not a great documentary but entertaining none the less

    #11 6 years ago

    I liked it. Sure the kookiness of it was high, but it showed that every character has a real passion for pinball. I think it tries too many angles and should have focused on a couple. It is entertaining though .

    #12 6 years ago

    I had just finished a restoration of a "Black Pyramid" when I first watched the doc. Its backglass art was one of the first images they showed which I found ironic and humorous. Other than that it was...meh...OK.

    The highlight for me was getting to know who some of the players were. I thought Sean "The Storm" Grant, his rapping and general ridiculousness was fantastic. What a great character.

    Neil Shatz is another. What a cool guy. Calm and precise with is Jeff Goldblum-in-glasses-and-blue strap look...and a phenominal player.

    "...and you might not wanna print this...but pinball is dying."
    -Steve Ritchie...one of the guys keeping pinball alive to this day...

    #13 6 years ago

    yup that documentary went downhill pretty fast.

    #14 6 years ago

    I love this doc. "I'm a people person".

    #15 6 years ago

    to be honest, in my experience, that documentary captured the majority of pinball hobbyists quite well...

    walking around the allentown show this year pretty much confirms the above...

    like it or not, the people in that doc are the "history" of pinball... "the life and times of steve ritchie" really isn't...

    #16 6 years ago

    Ouch!

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from Underspin:

    "...and you might not wanna print this...but pinball is dying."
    -Steve Ritchie...one of the guys keeping pinball alive to this day...

    at the time the docu was released that was unfortunally the case.. pinball almost died.

    but then again it never died for me.. i dont care if its up or its down like fashion.. ill just keep flippin it

    #18 6 years ago

    The best part of the whole documentary was how his hair is so dirty that it has left a black trail along the curtains.

    dirty-hair.jpg

    #19 6 years ago

    I enjoyed it and watched it a few times just to see pins I never seen before. I had also downloaded 2 from amazon. One follows pinball 2000. The other one I fell asleep to so I have to rewatch it.

    #20 6 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    The best part of the whole documentary was how his hair is so dirty that it has left a black trail along the curtains.

    Hadn't noticed that before...since I was busy cringing over that exposed belly

    14
    #21 6 years ago

    Sam is a nice guy and is always at the Chicago Expo. He knows a lot of information about older games and is a great source for info.

    #22 6 years ago

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    and I know he was just devastated at how he was treated during and after the filming of SWL.

    I thought a bunch of people posted that he was happy with his portrayal?

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    Sam actually doesn't make it to many shows anymore. His health is a little challenged, and I know he was just devastated at how he was treated during and after the filming of SWL. That's a man who gave his whole life to the hobby; his collection of games and detailed notes, dirty jokes, and pin stories is truly a treasure trove. All the "real" pinheads just see the belly, what a shame.

    How was he treated? I think the film accurately showed him as he is: A man stuck in the past who is completely happy with himself & his hobby. I've met him and seen him at shows. There's no trick editing here to "make him look bad"...look - the dude is an odd guy. That's just a fact....but the movie does not make fun of him. It merely shows a man who got attached to an older era, hit the breaks, and stayed there.

    Oh, and his belly is like 4x the size now. I wish his real friends would teach him how to eat healthy - he could probably cure many of his ailments & get back to shows and pin fun!

    #25 6 years ago

    #26 6 years ago

    #27 6 years ago
    Quoted from Captive_Ball:

    Hadn't noticed that before...since I was busy cringing over that exposed belly

    In my world, we call that misdirection.

    #28 6 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    I thought a bunch of people posted that he was happy with his portrayal?

    James "King of Cranes" said that he congratulated him on his appearance in the film and Sam laughed and thanked him.

    He in no way acted like he was upset.

    #29 6 years ago

    #30 6 years ago

    #31 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    All anyone talks about from that movie is his stomach.

    Sam is not a dumb guy, he knew exactly where his shirt was.

    The guy has a great stomach, you've got to give him that.

    #32 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    They made him put the shirt on, for starters.

    I saw him at PPE...he was bigger and was wearing a small shirt with his gut fat dangling down to his knees. He was practically eating the entire buffet. How did they make him put that shirt on? I've seen him wear that shirt at Belsito parties!

    I dunno man, I see 100% accuracy in that movie

    #33 6 years ago

    Yeah it's not that solid of a documentary.

    #34 6 years ago

    #35 6 years ago

    #36 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    All anyone talks about from that movie is his stomach. Cheap move by the directors, who were just trying to bank on the success of King of Kong anyway.

    And similarly, many of the subjects in King of Kong were EXTREMELY upset about their portrayals. I know several of those guys, and when I was being introduced to Greg Bond and mentioned that film, he almost literally walked away. I had to tell him quickly that I was aware of the inaccuracies.

    I also had heard that the people in SWL were cool with their portrayals, however, as you say that was a cheap move, and they could have easily cropped that shot had they chosen to do so.

    Prepare for our film, Shoot Again, which will treat the hobby with the love and enthusiasm that it deserves. Though pinball was kind of bleak in the SWL years, there is so much coolness going on with it right now!

    PS - I want those Jaws barrels... so badly... or even just the "beaches closed" sign... SO jealous...

    -1
    #37 6 years ago
    Quoted from coz6:

    Removed Post - after reading Sam was basically bullied after documentary.

    Which guy was Sam? And where can I read about the docs aftermath?

    Nevermind....I refreshed the page and saw the rest of the replies about him. Sucks if he felt he was treated poorly.

    #38 6 years ago

    I could not agree LESS - This movie was great! First of all, there are not a lot of choices. Any focus on pinball is a good thing.

    This movie showed the "people" aspect, the history and the pro players. And focused on designers like Ritchie and Kordek. I do agree they did go for the oddballs but as everyone has said, Sam is a cool guy. Actually, he was the first person I saw when I walked into Expo 12 and said to him "hey, loved you in Special When Lit! He was so pleased. I knew I had arrived at the Expo...

    I give it two calloused thumbs up!

    #39 6 years ago

    Pomc....If you want to read about the aftermath, how about you start with your own thread you started here basically doing the same thing?

    #40 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rabscuttle:

    as you say that was a cheap move, and they could have easily cropped that shot had they chosen to do so.

    I'm telling you, that is exactly how Sam wanted his shirt to be.

    It's just like on the news where you see a guy sitting on the porch describing some neighborhood tragedy, and his ball are hanging out of his shorts. You KNOW he feels the wind/sun on them. You KNOW the camera guy is doing everything he can to keep the camera still without laughing, yet keep them in the frame.

    -1
    #41 6 years ago

    I don't want to read about my aftermath....doing it now. Want to read his thoughts about the doc.

    Hey, I can't help how the guy looks or lives....he appeared on my TV screen without warning in the middle of what I thought was a docu about pinball. He totally distracted us. I included the screenshots because, well, a picture is worth 1000 words, and so anyone who didn't see it would understand what I was speaking about.

    #42 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    How was he treated? I think the film accurately showed him as he is: A man stuck in the past who is completely happy with himself & his hobby.

    QFT.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I either know of or actually know almost everyone in that film. I do not think that anyone was in any way portrayed in a way that I do not myself see them.

    You can argue whether it's a Good Thing that the movie chose to focus on this aspect of pinball culture (I'm sure "Special When Lit" was no accident of a title), but I can not honestly say that I view it as exploitative in any way.

    Post edited by pinball_keefer : Clarified my quoting reason with the QFT

    #43 6 years ago

    I will admit to playing Starship a Troopers last night trying to do Rick's moves. Seriously. It was fun trying to become one with the machine and to feel the ball having fun in there.

    I'd totally watched Extreme Makeover: Pinball Edition

    The before and afters would be amazing.

    image.jpg

    #44 6 years ago

    I had to look this up. For a second I'm like...uh..."Quit F*cking Talking"?

    Quoted for Truth....thanks Keef!

    #45 6 years ago

    Ok, now this is funny. Well done.

    #46 6 years ago

    I've never met Sam, but everyone I know that does knows him speaks very highly of him. Bagging on him here is friggin lame. What good comes from bagging on anyone within the hobby?

    The movie was not a documentary. They edited to sell their movie, not to accurately portray the hobby. They also manipulated things behind the scenes to shape the movie they way they wanted it to turn out. I've heard this firsthand from people (friends) who appeared in the movie. In no way should this movie be described as an accurate portrayal of the hobby.

    #47 6 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    I've never met Sam, but everyone I know that does knows him speaks very highly of him. Bagging on him here is friggin lame. What good comes from bagging on anyone within the hobby?
    The movie was not a documentary. They edited to sell their movie, not to accurately portray the hobby. They also manipulated things behind the scenes to shape the movie they way they wanted it to turn out. I've heard this firsthand from people (friends) who appeared in the movie. In no way should this movie be described as an accurate portrayal of the hobby.

    I find it fascinating that so many are so butthurt over this movie. What wasn't accurately portrayed? It showed the history of pinball. It showed designers & programmers and their take on things. It showed collectors - and yes, some of us are f*cking weird....but it showed plenty of "normal" collectors...which starts to show that pinball isn't dead but thriving in private collections. It all led up to showing the tournament scene - which showed that pinball isn't just about the private collections but a vibrant competitive community.

    I've met MUCH stranger and controversial people in this hobby....everyone shown in this movie is portrayed as likeable and sweet natured, even if they are naturally eccentric.

    #48 6 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I'm telling you, that is exactly how Sam wanted his shirt to be.
    It's just like on the news where you see a guy sitting on the porch describing some neighborhood tragedy, and his ball are hanging out of his shorts. You KNOW he feels the wind/sun on them. You KNOW the camera guy is doing everything he can to keep the camera still without laughing, yet keep them in the frame.

    Dude, I almost passed out from laughing so hard at your post!

    #49 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    What wasn't accurately portrayed?

    The whole movie. It was billed as a documentary. Featured on the Documentary Channel. Yet the producers manipulated and edited the filming to sell their movie. That ain't a documentary in my book. I get that documentaries are typically slightly spun in one direction or another. This one obviously played up the wrong side too much. They were trying to sell the movie, not accurately portray the hobby.

    #50 6 years ago

    Note to self, "When asked to be in a documentary, make sure I wear a shirt that covers my stomach"

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