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(Topic ID: 63630)

"Special When Lit" - watched last night


By PoMC

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 181 posts
  • 91 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by DNO
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    There are 181 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
    #151 7 years ago

    For my part, I really liked this documentary. I thought it clearly captured how strange all pinball players can be, and as a whole, presented a slice of history, and how people feel about pinball. By no means comprehensive, but a clear illustration of the different aspects of pinball, design, and professional opinion.
    And let's not forget, all a film is supposed to provide, documentary or otherwise, is entertainment.
    If you learn something along the way, bully for you.
    I think I'll watch it again this month!

    #152 7 years ago

    The Directors knew what they were doing in trying to pick out the negatives of the subjects which wasnt necessary. For example focusing in on Sams Cupboard, why do that? Giving Pingeek an overly long amount of time and showing him lecturing an "empty" room. Not editing out the last facial gesture of Champion Rick Stetta.
    These and other images could have been edited out not edited in, and would have been, if the focus was kept to pinball.
    Maybe they thought that the subject matter couldnt carry the film? I suppose that when they went over the footage they thought it might be funny to keep the quirky stuff and in doing so turned what started out as a good film into a sideshow.
    Its a shame as there are many brilliant interviews in the film with lots of info actually covered. Too bad the good stuff is usually forgotten with the "comic" stuff being remembered. Leave out the middle and you are left with a decent Pinball movie.

    #153 7 years ago

    Most are over analyzing this way too much, it's a low budget documentary about a low participation hobby. Enjoy it for what it and move on.

    #154 7 years ago
    Quoted from PersonX99:

    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?

    Sam's a pinball collector. Part of the film focuses on pinball collectors. Pinball collectors = pinball.

    #155 7 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    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.

    I'm with you on all of this. I guess I just find it surprising that people didn't expect it to be exactly what it is. Especially with, as you point out, a title that implies it.

    #156 7 years ago

    I love Special When Lit. It shows pinball's eccentric fans. It shows the lengths that people have gone to in order to keep the hobby alive for themselves and others. There's nothing interesting about a normal 37-year old dude with three pins in his basement and 3 well adjusted kids, so why show that?

    The Steve Epstein story is amazing. It's so fun watching him light up when he talks about the good days and then it's downright heartbreaking to watch him tear up when he talks about it all ending.

    You can focus on the eccentrics if you want, but the Roger Sharpe, Steve Epstein, Steve Ritchie, and Steve Kordek appearances are all golden.

    #157 7 years ago

    Ritchie talking about Steve jobs is priceless, not special when lit, bit still...

    5 months later
    #158 6 years ago

    Does anyone know the name of the guy who had the huge collection, with the specially built lofts? I'd love to see if he's on Pinside to to see the entire collection. He was the one who talked about the Jesus themed pinball machine.

    #159 6 years ago

    I enjoyed this documentary,

    any hobby could be portrayed as weird to anyone not into it,

    #160 6 years ago
    Quoted from Minneapolispin:

    Does anyone know the name of the guy who had the huge collection, with the specially built lofts?

    Ron, from Pittsburgh, great guy!
    If you go to Pinburgh, you may run into him.

    #161 6 years ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Ron, from Pittsburgh, great guy!
    If you go to Pinburgh, you may run into him.

    Do you know if he's here on Pinside? I'd love to see if there are more photos of his collection.

    #162 6 years ago

    I don't think Ron is on pinside, but I will say that his collection is insane. He has over 200 machines in a funhouse like outbuilding. He not only has a lot of rare pins from all eras, he has vids, bowlers, shooters, etc too. His gameroom has more to it than just the games though. There's also a ton of movie props, memorobilia, commercial signs and amusement park relics. Some of the coolest features have to include the tube slide that takes you from the 2nd floor to the main floor bar and the outdoor gazebo that has a waterfall running OVER it into the river below. Ron is the man!

    Brian

    #163 6 years ago

    What!? OK, now I MUST find photos of all this!

    Quoted from Betelgeuse:

    I don't think Ron is on pinside, but I will say that his collection is insane. He has over 200 machines in a Funhouse like outbuilding. He not only has a lot of rare pins from all eras, he has vids, bowlers, shooters, etc too. His gameroom has more to it than just the games though. There's also a ton of movie props, memorobilia, commercial signs and amusement park relics. Some of the coolest features have to include the tube slide that takes you from the 2nd floor to the main floor bar and the outdoor gazebo that has a waterfall running OVER it into the river below. Ron is the man!

    #164 6 years ago

    Special when lit no longer on netflix and I am pissed.

    1 month later
    #165 6 years ago
    Quoted from Betelgeuse:

    I don't think Ron is on pinside, but I will say that his collection is insane. He has over 200 machines in a Funhouse like outbuilding. He not only has a lot of rare pins from all eras, he has vids, bowlers, shooters, etc too. His gameroom has more to it than just the games though. There's also a ton of movie props, memorobilia, commercial signs and amusement park relics. Some of the coolest features have to include the tube slide that takes you from the 2nd floor to the main floor bar and the outdoor gazebo that has a waterfall running OVER it into the river below. Ron is the man!
    Brian

    Holy moly.
    What's he doing for a living?? (Don't want to know exactly_ what, for private life's sake, but still curious as to what kind of income you need to have something like that going)

    #166 6 years ago
    Quoted from PhilGreg:

    Holy moly.
    What's he doing for a living?? (Don't want to know exactly_ what, for private life's sake, but still curious as to what kind of income you need to have something like that going)

    Seriously -that's some big money in machines there. I'm brand new to the hobby and just started looking in the last 12 months. I'd love to own games like Attack From Mars, Addams Family, Circus Voltaire, etc., but the prices are so high. What were these games that are selling now in the $4000-$7000 range going for 5-10 years ago? Could you find a great condition pin like Attack From Mars in the below $2000 range?

    #167 6 years ago
    Quoted from PhilGreg:

    Holy moly.
    What's he doing for a living?? (Don't want to know exactly_ what, for private life's sake, but still curious as to what kind of income you need to have something like that going)

    You don't have to be rich to have a nice collection like that. Just had to be doing this for a long time and get the stuff when you could buy games 3 at a time for $100 for all 3. Back in the day, pinball, bowlers and other games were dirt cheap. Late night thursday auctions, they were giving you games for $10 each just to get them the hell out of there.

    knowledge is the key in this world. If you know how to fix and restore games, you can get a lot for very little. Less you know, the fatter your wallet better be.

    #168 6 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    You don't have to be rich to have a nice collection like that. Just had to be doing this for a long time and get the stuff when you could buy games 3 at a time for $100 for all 3. Back in the day, pinball, bowlers and other games were dirt cheap. Late night thursday auctions, they were giving you games for $10 each just to get them the hell out of there.
    knowledge is the key in this world. If you know how to fix and restore games, you can get a lot for very little. Less you know, the fatter your wallet better be.

    Right, but I'm not only talking about the games - it sounds like his house is pretty impressive too.

    #169 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.

    dirty-hair.jpg 91 KB

    That is good stuff right there!

    #170 6 years ago

    Is "Special When Lit" still on Netflix? I can't find it there. Is there anyplace to watch it at no-charge?

    #171 6 years ago

    I watched it a while back, and thought that it was a good pin movie to watch. I still need to find a way to watch Tilt with all of the bonus footage.

    #172 6 years ago
    Quoted from Toucanf16:

    Is "Special When Lit" still on Netflix? I can't find it there. Is there anyplace to watch it at no-charge?

    Depending on the laws of your country, you could just Google **** torrent "special when lit" **** , but check with your laws, I don't want you doing anything bad.

    #173 6 years ago

    I liked Special when Lit. Sam seems happy. I hope I'm that happy when I'm his age. So what about his house and appearance. If you want to make fun of somebody Stetta and Storm are my 1st picks.

    #174 6 years ago

    Sam is a great guy. He knows more about pinball history than just about anyone, has file cabinets and binders full of pinball history and paperwork. Most of the data on designers/artist & production runs, now found on ipdb and mr.pinball, was compiled by Sam, long ago.
    He is eccentric, some might say obsessed.
    But he is always helpful to other collectors in the hobby, always has a joke to tell.
    Sure he can get ornery, cranky and upset at times,
    (a lot of his frustration stems from his poor health & diabetes and his finding it harder to work on his games,
    due to poor eyesight and losing some of his tactile functions in his hands and feet),
    but he will always get over it quickly and be back to his jolly self.
    He is a happy and content guy,
    that loves pinball and does not really care what others may think about him.
    He gets along with everyone, especially if they love pinball also.
    He is a pinball legend, and i am proud to call him a good friend.
    I thought the SWL DVD was an enjoyable slice of the hobby.
    Did it cover every aspect of the hobby? Was it 100% accurate?
    No, but how could it in <2 hrs, it could have been better, but nothing is perfect, not even pinball!!.
    If you did not like it, then make your own pinball documentary.

    #175 6 years ago
    Quoted from Toucanf16:

    Is "Special When Lit" still on Netflix? I can't find it there. Is there anyplace to watch it at no-charge?

    You should be able to watch it free (although with ads) on Hulu: www.hulu.com/watch/243423

    #176 6 years ago

    Well guys, I have another take. I have been in the pin biz for 35 years now. I'm pretty darn normal, whatever that is. I can tell you this....the guy in the film probably thinks we are as strange as many posting here think he is. I have news for us....those of us that think we are normal were in the minority back when that guy was enjoying the hobby in the heyday. I had to deal with a great many strange guys back in the 80's and 90's. Pinball really didn't explode and go mainstream until after Williams went away. Most people I deal with now are not eccentric types, but believe me, guys like me were the eccentric ones to pinball nerds back in the day. Even some of the operators back then were pretty strange guys (and a few women, too)! I think we need to pull back a bit and recognize guys like him were, for the most part, here before the rest of many people on this board. I think despite their quirkiness in perhaps what they wear and what they say, we should respect those that are on the eccentric side. I have spent too much of my life mocking people like that myself....lets grow up and enjoy the hobby as one community! They have as much or more to contribute than many of us. I appreciate that he was willing to share his games and thoughts on the hobby, warts amd all! If you don't agree with that, may I suggest you miss the point of the film.

    #177 6 years ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    Sam is a great guy. He knows more about pinball history than just about anyone, has file cabinets and binders full of pinball history and paperwork. Most of the data on designers/artist & production runs, now found on ipdb and mr.pinball, was compiled by Sam, long ago.
    He is eccentric, some might say obsessed.
    But he is always helpful to other collectors in the hobby, always has a joke to tell.
    Sure he can get ornery, cranky and upset at times,
    (a lot of his frustration stems from his poor health & diabetes and his finding it harder to work on his games,
    due to poor eyesight and losing some of his tactile functions in his hands and feet),
    but he will always get over it quickly and be back to his jolly self.
    He is a happy and content guy,
    that loves pinball and does not really care what others may think about him.
    He gets along with everyone, especially if they love pinball also.
    He is a pinball legend, and i am proud to call him a good friend.
    I thought the SWL DVD was an enjoyable slice of the hobby.
    Did it cover every aspect of the hobby? Was it 100% accurate?
    No, but how could it in <2 hrs, it could have been better, but nothing is perfect, not even pinball!!.
    If you did not like it, then make your own pinball documentary.

    Well said!

    #178 6 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    You don't have to be rich to have a nice collection like that. Just had to be doing this for a long time and get the stuff when you could buy games 3 at a time for $100 for all 3. Back in the day, pinball, bowlers and other games were dirt cheap. Late night thursday auctions, they were giving you games for $10 each just to get them the hell out of there.
    knowledge is the key in this world. If you know how to fix and restore games, you can get a lot for very little. Less you know, the fatter your wallet better be.

    In the late 80's, you couldn't give pins away. I remember TZ was a huge bomb for operators and they quickly disappeared off location. I didn't want them for any price. Thats why most of them are so clean. I passed on Cactus Canyon because it was a dog on location! If we only knew what was about to happen! It was a very different pinball world then. When EMs were phased out I could go to mall arcades, and did, and bought them for next to nothing. Fixed them up and resold them....that is how I got started in the biz at 19. It is a testament to his passion for the hobby that he doesn't cash in and make a fortune on some of those games. As the poster I responded to said, you could pick this stuff up for next to nothing back then. I doubt he has much in real dollars invested, which in no way takes away from his value to our hobby. We have a local guy out here that has every good game you imagine and he bought them all before the run up...I am certain his collection is worth seven figures for an investment in the very low six figures. I know this is off topic but the poster I am responding to made a great point and I thought it would be fun for the newer people in the hobby to know what it was like then!

    6 years later
    #179 4 months ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

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

    Did anyone ever solve this mystery? Lately I’ve been digging into old pinside threads and coming across a lot of members that are blocked and it fascinates me trying to trace where things went off the rails.

    #180 4 months ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Did anyone ever solve this mystery? Lately I’ve been digging into old pinside threads and coming across a lot of members that are blocked and it fascinates me trying to trace where things went off the rails.

    there was a long thread about sexism in pinball years ago, and pinside being pinside, it was absolutely embarrassing. Mods seem to have permanuked the thread.

    #181 4 months ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Did anyone ever solve this mystery?

    Not really a mystery, read the first post here...(Curtis Playfield is/was pinball Molly)
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/there-are-good-women-in-pinball

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