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Special when Lit: a Pinball Documentary

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  • Special when Lit: a Pinball Documentary

    Just watched this last night, leading to me taking a break from the Witcher 2 and setting 3 new high scores.

    It's on Netflix and is a pretty interesting documentary about pinball. Did you know pinball is an american invention that was super huge in europe and was illegal in america for over 30 years!

    Also, now I have an itch to buy at least one real table. Now to try and find one relatively cheap that works and is fun.
    "Cynics regard everyone as equally corrupt. Idealists regard everyone as equally corrupt, except themselves." - Robert Anton Wilson

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mini Colossus View Post
    It's on Netflix and is a pretty interesting documentary about pinball. Did you know pinball is an american invention that was super huge in europe and was illegal in america for over 30 years!
    That last part is a little inaccurate. It was illegal in some cities (such as New York City and Los Angeles), but it was not illegal in all of the US.
    Last edited by shogun00; 04-25-2012, 05:37 PM.

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    • #3
      US patent, but actually it was British inventor Montague Redgrave who could be said to be the father of modern pinball.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mini Colossus View Post
        Just watched this last night, leading to me taking a break from the Witcher 2 and setting 3 new high scores.

        It's on Netflix and is a pretty interesting documentary about pinball. Did you know pinball is an american invention that was super huge in europe and was illegal in america for over 30 years!

        Also, now I have an itch to buy at least one real table. Now to try and find one relatively cheap that works and is fun.
        I watched it a while back, great documentary! I heard Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball was good too, but I have yet to see it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BarbieBobomb View Post
          I heard Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball was good too, but I have yet to see it.
          Hmm, I'll have to look for that one. Never heard of it either. Anyone got anymore info on it?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Be4u View Post
            Hmm, I'll have to look for that one. Never heard of it either. Anyone got anymore info on it?
            Looked for it on Netflix instant and didn't find it. Probably have to find it on Amazon/Ebay...

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            • #7
              Try this: Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball.

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              • #8
                Just watched Special when Lit, great doc!

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                • #9
                  is the the one where they want to create pinball 2000 and it fails
                  i don't have a pci use ps3 browser

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                  • #10
                    Wish I could see this doc as I hear nothing but good things.
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                    • #11
                      Special When Lit is pretty good, but as with other pinball/vid-game docos, it does tend to concentrate on the extremes of the pinball community. In particular, the freaks.

                      Which is a shame; the freaks stand out, but aren't representative of pinball players in general.

                      For more vid-game freaks, see:

                      The King of Kong, and Chasing Ghosts.

                      (The latter film is quite creepy.)

                      I thought Tilt: the Battle To Save Pinball was more informative than Special When Lit.

                      There's also Pinball Passion, which I have not seen. It features Pat Lawlor, Gary Stern, Steve Ritchie, etc.


                      BTW, Special When Lit is available for free in full on YouTube. Since they sell the video from their own site, I can only presume that this is a bootleg uploaded illegally to YouTube. Anyway, if you like it, buy it. It's very cheap from their site.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Zj1xUj7as
                      Last edited by Womble; 04-26-2012, 02:00 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Saw it on Youtube the other night at random. It was a good watch, but it doesn't paint pinball players or collectors in a good light.

                        The players (for the most part) are strange outcasts with no social life who get nervous when women are mentioned. And some of those collectors were a bit sad. Especially that guy with the messed up hair, whose shirt didn't go all the way down past his giant belly. Are their normal people who like pinball anymore, or just strange hermits who convert their living spaces into old pinball warehouses?

                        I find it a bit puzzling to see some people who have a ton of tables in those collection that are the exact same game with different artwork on them? Like the Canada Dry game from Gottlieb. There's like 100 variants with the same layout, just different branding? Why bother?

                        At least I've learned in one of my favourite movies that a case full of old pinball machine parts can be traded to libyan terrorists in exchange for plutonium!
                        Happy Zen Pinball Android Customer
                        ASUS Transformer TF101

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                        • #13
                          FREE on youtube im going to watch right now
                          i don't have a pci use ps3 browser

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Womble View Post
                            Special When Lit is pretty good, but as with other pinball/vid-game docos, it does tend to concentrate on the extremes of the pinball community. In particular, the freaks.

                            Which is a shame; the freaks stand out, but aren't representative of pinball players in general.

                            BTW, Special When Lit is available for free in full on YouTube. Since they sell the video from their own site, I can only presume that this is a bootleg uploaded illegally to YouTube. Anyway, if you like it, buy it. It's very cheap from their site.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Zj1xUj7as
                            I was going to mention something about the "freaks" but had feared some backlash on here LOL yeah it focused a bit on them.

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                            • #15
                              Special When Lit is worth watching for a little bit of history, but it is an absolutely horrible documentary. As others have said, when they made it they went way out of their way to focus on primarily the freaks of the hobby and not the 99% of the common pinball collectors and players. Standard Hollywood type nonsense.

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