(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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    There are 178 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
    #101 6 years ago

    Waldo was one of the best parts of the entire movie!!! I still laugh about every time I think about him! "I'm a people person."

    #102 6 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Anybody who collects pinball has something wrong with them.

    I'll agree, and deny that at the same time.

    Pinball forever.

    11
    #103 6 years ago

    I liked SWL. Thought Sam was a guy doing the thing that he loved. Sure he seemed eccentric, but my take on it was that he was comfortable enough with who he is that his surroundings and appearance did not hang him up. Dude looked very relaxed to me and happy to be talking about stuff he loved.

    Did the producers think it had a lot of entertainment value? Yup. Was Sam happy having an audience to talk to about all of his cool stuff? Yup. It seemed like a win/win to me. I was entertained both by his vast pin knowledge as well as his eccentricity.

    It reminded me a little of the Southern Comfort commercials where the guys are very comfortable with who they are, even though the viewer is not.

    #104 6 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    Aww dude.... That's sweet and sad at the same time....

    Just Like Chinese Food!.....................................wait........that's sweet and sour, never mind.

    #105 6 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Classic thing my mom said to me tonight aboot selling my house and getting a new one:
    "Is it those pinballs...becasue that's not a good enough reason to get a new house."

    Let's face it, she want's you out of her basement already.

    #106 6 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Anybody who collects pinball has something wrong with them.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own!

    #107 6 years ago

    What did I miss? Did PinMolly get the ban hammer in this thread?

    #108 6 years ago

    what happened to molly???!!??? retired pinsider???!!!???

    #109 6 years ago

    It was a crappy film, a sort of wannabe King of Kong that failed in every way KoK got it right.

    At the end of the day, good or bad, it doesn't matter much to me. Almost no one outside of pinball has seen it.

    Way of the Puck, a film about competitive air hockey, is at least kind and optimistic about its characters while still acknowledging their eccentricities. In fact, in one segment where some of the "characters" in the sport are being discussed, one of the players remarks, "Yeah, you have to be pretty far out there to not qualify for this group."

    It tends to drag but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Special When Lit, not so much.

    #110 6 years ago

    Like someone previously said, SWL was partially responsible for my pinball madness which started this summer. I had always dreamed someday of having an arcade in my house, and had talked about it for at least the last 10 years, but it wasn't until I saw SWL that I really started seeing it as a reality and as something I could really do in my house. That was in late May/early June...I now have a MAME arcade and 5 pins and am at capacity...or AM I???

    I too will put SWL on in the background now, and have probably watched it 5 or more times on Netflix. Everytime I see it, I notice something new or see a machine I didn't previously see. Really brings me back to my childhood/teenage years to see some of that footage from the 70s. I noticed the quirky side of pinball right away, but I am definitely not judging people with the same passion as me, although I did find parts of it pretty damn funny and odd. I REALLY want to go hang out with the dude in Pennsylvania with the 100+ pins...no way that many pins fit in his house. Was also cool to see who some of the best pin players in the world are/were. I have been watching some of the PAPA YouTube vids of Lyman Sheats playing various games, and have picked up a thing or two, although am nowhere close to mastering his techniques. Fun to try them though.

    I picked up The Pinball Collector on Amazon too, and that one really shows historical pins from the beginning of pins through the 50s, just going from pin to pin showing gameplay and giving historical facts. Completely different, but neat to see where pins evolved from. I plan to watch EVERY pinball documentary or special that I can get my hands on.

    #111 6 years ago

    "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope" is a good example of a geek documentary that celebrates its subjects without making them look like losers. You can show the eccentric in a way that people understand and won't mock. That's where SWL failed.

    #112 6 years ago
    Quoted from PoMC:

    I will admit to playing Starship a Troopers last night trying to do Rick's moves. Seriously.

    It is like playing golf and trying to swing like Happy Gilmore.

    #113 6 years ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    what happened to molly???!!??? retired pinsider???!!!???

    Molly's bday gift to herself was to retire from pinside.

    #114 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinSpinner:

    It is like playing golf and trying to swing like Happy Gilmore.

    Difficult at first, but if you stick with it, you can win a green jacket?

    #115 6 years ago
    Quoted from sk8ball:

    Molly's bday gift to herself was to retire from pinside.

    Less stress is a good gift.

    #116 6 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    Less stress is a good gift.

    She shouldn't have had to put up with the stress this thread gave out. Apparently you can never ever say anything bad about another member here, but bashing on non-members who aren't here to defend themselves is just fine. Have at it.

    Especially disappointing when long time members here pile on. Seems like they have a golden ticket to say anything they want here. Can't wait until I get over 75k karma.

    #117 6 years ago

    I love this movie to pieces, and have seen it far too many times. Yes, some of the people are certainly 'characters', but that's what makes it work and makes it so endearing.

    Many are bringing up Sam's appearance but I think you are missing the point. These scenes are shown in such a way to present a surface level reaction but a much deeper meaning. Sam talks about his rough upbringing and so forth, but look at him, he's smiling and "high on life", and loves his hobby. This is such a great message and it makes me smile every time I watch it knowing that, as all of us are stressing about our lives, he's enjoying just doing his thing. I wish half of us could be just as happy as Sam.

    And, as others have said here, if you think it's a misrepresentation of the pinball community, I think you might need a reality check. There are some very eccentric people who are into pinball and I've met many. Every hobby has their enthusiasts, and generally the real enthusiasts are just fantastic characters. If Special When Lit only interviewed the 'every day' person the film would have been much less interesting.

    I still get a kick out of the fact that just about all of the people who appeared in that film are still part of the community today. I watch the PAPA videos and see Bowen, Keith, Sean, Donavan, Lyman etc playing and it makes me smile, knowing that they aren't just faceless competitors but human beings with personalities.

    I can't say enough good things about Special When Lit. It's a major part of why I started playing pinball last year.

    #118 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rabscuttle:

    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.

    i was not cool with my portrayal.. i hanged out with those guys for hours talking about pinball and interviews.. and there was a brief moment i played an dance game in the other section of the area..

    guess what they picked me for to be in the movie.. that is the shoot of me playing a dance game, after a lot of pinball talk. i hoped to be in the movie with it actually talking or me playing pinball.. but they didnt picked me to talk in the movie! that is rubbish.. i was too positive for the movie i think.. haha well atleast they grabbed a bit of me to memorialize

    #119 6 years ago

    Pinside = RGP GUI

    You must pile on anything people post or tries to sale... great forum

    12
    #120 6 years ago

    Sam is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Technologically challenged but he has been documenting pinball probably longer than anyone. He knows more about the history of the game in detail than almost anybody else (Exceptions: Jim Schelberg, Tim Arnold, Clay Harrell, Rob Berk, Steve Young, Etc.).

    You should be honored to be able to learn from this man.

    Also, the Special When Lit video was made at a moment in time. Those were important people in pinball at the time, but things like this change. PinGeek and guys like Gene Cunningham have a lot less impact on the pinball scene now.

    Sam will go on as a Pinball legend beyond the day he takes his last breath!

    #121 6 years ago
    Quoted from pinster68:

    Take a good long look in the mirror. None of you are as cool as you may think. Still think you're cool? Put yourself in front of the camera talking about your love for this hobby and you'll find out just how uncool you are.

    I was waiting for someone to say this. We're a bunch of nerds with too much cash picking on another nerd because we thought he looked funny in a movie. When I told my friends and family I was starting to collect pinball machines, they all started making jokes about me turning into "the belly guy" from SLT. Several years later, my house is full of pinball machines. What's funny is that whenever I make noises about paring down my collection, those same people suddenly panic and want to talk about which ones stay. Pinball is a cool thing.. a friends and family thing.. and I derive some satisfaction knowing that my friends/family get to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'll always wash my hair and work at keeping the gut at bay, but there are a lot worse ways to end up.

    #122 6 years ago
    Quoted from awarner:

    Sam is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Technologically challenged but he has been documenting pinball probably longer than anyone. He knows more about the history of the game in detail than almost anybody else (Exceptions: Jim Schelberg, Tim Arnold, Clay Harrell, Rob Berk, Steve Young, Etc.).
    You should be honored to be able to learn from this man.
    Also, the Special When Lit video was made at a moment in time. Those were important people in pinball at the time, but things like this change. PinGeek and guys like Gene Cunningham have a lot less impact on the pinball scene now.
    Sam will go on as a Pinball legend beyond the day he takes his last breath!

    Right on A. Warner, you nailed it. Boy there are some real assholes on this forum. Sam is a great guy, alot of you could learn some humility from him.

    #123 6 years ago
    Quoted from Vladtheimpaler-8:

    I REALLY want to go hang out with the dude in Pennsylvania with the 100+ pins...no way that many pins fit in his house.

    I went to Ron's house in August... there are WELL OVER 100 games.. closer to 200 on three floors... do a google search for "silverball country club flickr" Not from this year and not my pics but there are two galleries there... and there is a picture somewhere on deviantart

    #124 6 years ago

    Me and my family have had the pleasure of knowing Sam for the past 5+ years. He is a great guy and knows so much about pinball history. It is great talking with him about the games and if you have a question about a game he is always happy to talk with you about it.

    He enjoys tracking where a pin has come from and where it sends up it seems, I always take down the serial number of the games i get (or sell) and send them to Sam so he can track them. He has so much information on pinball's and has most likely forgot more than most of us will ever learn on the subject.

    On a side note: Sam always has a joke or two to share as well, and if you would like to met Sam he always tries to get to Pin-a-go-go...

    When I started to read this tread, I felt ashamed at the actions on the part of some on here. mocking people like this is just juvenile at best and some of you should just feel ashamed about your actions here.

    I came on the sight/form so share pinball knowledge and the love of the game and NOT to bash others... I can see why Molly would pull her account.

    #125 6 years ago

    i hope someone is making fun of theguy with the pinball sheds and the rock n roll (store

    #126 6 years ago
    Quoted from rcarlson:

    Me and my family have had the pleasure of knowing Sam for the past 5+ years. He is a great guy and knows so much about pinball history. It is great talking with him about the games and if you have a question about a game he is always happy to talk with you about it.
    He enjoys tracking where a pin has come from and where it sends up it seems, I always take down the serial number of the games i get (or sell) and send them to Sam so he can track them. He has so much information on pinball's and has most likely forgot more than most of us will ever learn on the subject.
    On a side note: Sam always has a joke or two to share as well, and if you would like to met Sam he always tries to get to Pin-a-go-go...
    When I started to read this tread, I felt ashamed at the actions on the part of some on here. mocking people like this is just juvenile at best and some of you should just feel ashamed about your actions here.
    I came on the sight/form so share pinball knowledge and the love of the game and NOT to bash others... I can see why Molly would pull her account.

    Well put sir

    #127 6 years ago

    I made this point in another thread... all we have to go on about Sam for most of us is what the movie showed. We don't know the real Sam, we just know the SWL Sam. I wouldn't beat on people too much for that, but perhaps the anger could be directed at the movie makers since that is what they chose to show.

    #128 6 years ago

    Let's face it, no one is ever portrayed accurately in any documentary, newscast, article.....

    It's all just tiny fragments clumped together for entertainment.

    Get over it.

    #129 6 years ago

    I've talked with Sam a couple of times. He was at the last PAGG hanging out ( of course) with the EMs. Super nice and knowledgable.

    No one "made him" wear that shirt for SWL. That's just how he dresses.

    #130 6 years ago

    Sam is a great guy. I sat next to him on the bus ride to the Stern factory at Expo twelve years ago. Great guy to talk about pinball about. A few years later at the Expo banquet at the Wyndham, he sat with my kids and I he was a riot, the jokes were priceless. He pushed the envelope with the Michael Jackson stuff and my son (about 12 at the time) was just yukking it up with Sam. Sam was considerate and asked me if I minded the jokes since my kids were there.

    I only wish when my work took me to Pomona a few years ago that we could have met up. Wasn't meant to be. Maybe someday. It sounds like he won't make it to Expo this year which is too bad.

    #131 6 years ago

    Sam pulled me from a burning bus and donated his left kidney to a stranger.

    #132 6 years ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Sam pulled me from a burning bus and donated his left kidney to a stranger.

    Tour, Transit or School?

    #133 6 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    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.

    Honestly, welcome to the world of the documentary.

    The success of King of Kong did in many ways bring this one out. But King of Kong was almost entirely a fabrication. If you've seen it, know this - Billy Mitchell was not actually the record holder at the time. During the filming of the movie, he actually came and played a game publicly at the 2004 Midwest Gaming Classic (according to the movie, which he never does) and he set the "Public World Record" on it because the private one was actually owned by Weibe the whole time. But, if you hear Walter Day talk about that movie, he says that he appreciated what it did by highlighting competitive gaming so that people knew it existed, and it found a way to tell a good story.

    That's the problem with Special When Lit. It doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it there to make fun of the people or celebrate them? Who knows! The world championship happens in Pittsburgh? But no one knows! HA! But it looks so interesting, let's feature that!

    In the end, it's a collection of oddly strung together short stories about people in the pinball hobby. Nothing more, nothing less. And not entertaining.

    Tilt is a great documentary because you can tell that they set out to tell the story of pinball closing and were only swayed by the people who they did interviews with. I suggest that one to everyone.

    If you're looking for a shorter but really nice documentary, check out Star Worlds: Pocket Full Of Quarters and I'm Headed to the Arcade. It's short (about 30 minutes) but encapsulates an amazing little old-school arcade that is not just kicking but thriving in DeKalb, Illinois. I've known them for years because of the Midwest Gaming Classic, and it really helps to explain just how into it they are. Great guys.

    If you're interested in either one of those two docs (Star Worlds / Tilt), PM me as I have a bunch from the MGC sitting around waiting for next MGC to sell

    #134 6 years ago

    I think it's pretty obvious that SWL is an attempted hit piece on the hobby. They didn't have much of a story to tell, so they tried to focus on the most awkward moments from some of the more awkward pinheads.

    #135 6 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    I think it's pretty obvious that SWL is an attempted hit piece on the hobby. They didn't have much of a story to tell, so they tried to focus on the most awkward moments from some of the more awkward pinheads.

    Just for the fact that I was actually in it, can pretty much tell you they were shooting for a freak show.

    #136 6 years ago

    pinball passion is an ok documentary on pinball that does not make anyone look bad. give it a look also. I got it from amazon a few years ago.

    #137 6 years ago

    Am I the only one that laughed at the old French man comparing cocaine to pinball?!?!

    The way he said it leads me to believe he's no stranger to the booger sugar

    Dude is like the Hugh Heffner of pinball.

    #138 6 years ago

    Molly mentioned she has a Bally Galahad. That was my first ever pinball machine. Coincidentally, Bally Technologies released a slot with the same name in 2012.

    #139 6 years ago

    I could not finish watching this documentary. I can only imagine the wardrobe malfunctions and filming locations were done on purpose, purely for drama. If there were making a parody, that is fine, but I do not this was marketed as a parody. Not cool.

    Seriously, if I were trying to make a doc, I would not have filmed people who appeared 'messy' and in locations that were distracting. It just came off as 'making fun' of someone who has some good information to share. There was no need to show his exposed belly in an ill fitting shirt. That has nothing to do with pinball.

    Just my opinion...I don't know the filmmakers actual intentions.

    #140 6 years ago
    Quoted from PersonX99:

    Seriously, if I were trying to make a doc, I would not have filmed people who appeared 'messy' and in locations that were distracting. It just came off as 'making fun' of someone who has some good information to share. There was no need to show his exposed belly in an ill fitting shirt. That has nothing to do with pinball.

    So - you would have cleaned up Sam's house and bought him a tux? Do you know what a documentary is? The purpose is to capture reality. They succeeded.

    #141 6 years ago
    Quoted from jayhawkai:

    I think it's pretty obvious that SWL is an attempted hit piece on the hobby.

    *sigh* ...This movie has shown how extremely thin the skin is of people in this hobby. A hit piece!? It's a love letter to pinball! The movie is a celebration of the world of pinball...the history, the artists & designers, the collectors & enthusiasts, and the tournament players. The movie portrays the passion of all of these people! How on earth is it a hit piece!? Cuz Sam has a small shirt!??!

    #142 6 years ago

    If you exclude weird hipsters I suspect only 32 people have seen this movie

    #143 6 years ago
    Quoted from rockfantasyman:

    i hope someone is making fun of theguy with the pinball sheds and the rock n roll (store

    I think that guy was the Wackiest of all!!!!!!

    #144 6 years ago

    Right as usual Al Warner. How can you slam him with that twinkle in his eye and when he says "I loved all the people " at the bowling alley he worked for. We should celebrate people like this - keeping the pinball flame burning for the rest of us to enjoy.

    #145 6 years ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    Am I the only one that laughed at the old French man comparing cocaine to pinball?!?!
    The way he said it leads me to believe he's no stranger to the booger sugar
    Dude is like the Hugh Heffner of pinball.

    I loved that French guy! When I first started loving pinball, I used his explanation to explain it to people. It was inspiration, hearing someone explain why they loved it. "All my life, it's always been peene ball...." "I don't like to eat, I don't like to drink or take drugs, I like peeenball."

    Classic - now if the French could just stop surrendering and stabbing us in the back....

    #146 6 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Tour, Transit or School?

    Short bus? Lol. Just kidding.

    #147 6 years ago

    I can see people being upset at Sam's portrayal, but to be upset at the movie as a whole seems a little over-reactive to me.

    It was a good flick for what it was. It's not going to win any awards, but it's fun to watch.

    I just watched King of Kong again last night, and it's a great one as well, even though you can tell the movie really tries hard to paint Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell in very specific ways. Even down to the music they play during their segments.

    #148 6 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    I can see people being upset at Sam's portrayal, but to be upset at the movie as a whole seems a little over-reactive to me.

    I'm about the opposite to you, I think.

    If the people who know Sam say that's the way Sam is, I can't think you can fault the producers for it. Sam came off to me (a guy who doesn't know him), as a man so obsessed with pinball that little else matters to him, but as a teddy bear of a guy who is almost unaware that anyone could find what he does or how he lives in anyway odd.

    I fault the producers due to their seeking out what people outside of our group would see as at best eccentric, and at worst crazy, in order not to create a compelling narrative (which it never does), but instead to attempt to serve as some kind of freak show for people outside of the hobby.

    Hell, I even think the title of the film is intended as a clever pun.

    #149 6 years ago
    Quoted from rockfantasyman:

    i hope someone is making fun of theguy with the pinball sheds and the rock n roll (store

    Oh yeah - THAT guy.

    Rock on brother.

    Brian

    #150 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    So - you would have cleaned up Sam's house and bought him a tux? Do you know what a documentary is? The purpose is to capture reality. They succeeded.

    Television is rarely real. Editing and simple effects can imply a host of things. Good example: "reality tv shows".

    I have no issue with this person's appearance/home. I'm the last person to ever say someone should be something they are not. My only issue is that what is shown in the documentary is so distracting, viewers forget about the topic: Pinball and instead focus on..well..everything else.

    I was just saying I would have done everything possible (within reason) to keep the viewers focused on pinball. The filmmaker did the opposite and I can't help but to wonder why?

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