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  • Special When Lit - A Pinball Documentary (NTSC DVD)
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Special When Lit - A Pinball Documentary (NTSC DVD)


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Frequently Bought Together

Special When Lit - A Pinball Documentary (NTSC DVD) + Pinball Passion + The Complete Pinball Book: Collecting the Game & Its History
Price for all three: $87.54

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roger Sharpe, Tim Arnold, Lyman Sheats Jr, Sam Harvey, John Broughton
  • Directors: Brett Sullivan
  • Producers: Brett Sullivan, Clayton Jacobsen
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004G6P5VI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Special When Lit rediscovers the lure of a lost pop icon - pinball. This American invention made more money than Hollywood through the 50s and 60s. Its success swept the world making it the epitome of 'cool'. Today pinball is all but forgotten. This is the award winning story of the rise and fall of pinball as told by the fans, collectors, designers and champion players from across the globe. Engaging and infectious, Special When Lit will have you revisiting a time when social networking meant hanging in an arcade trying to beat the silver ball. So drop a coin in the slot, it's time to rediscover a lost icon...

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
Very well put together and entertaining.
farey banksy
If you're someone who does own "multiple" Pin-games but doesn't take yourself or the hobby too seriously, I think probably enjoy this film!
billyseven
This documentary really shed light on the demise of pinball and how it's related to the home gaming industry.
William R. Markle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gil Velez on June 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary follows in the tradition of great arcade documentaries like King of Kong and Chasing Ghosts. I've watched all of the available pinball documentaries including Tilt and Pinball Passion to date but this one is leaps and bounds over the others with a focus on interesting characters in the hobby and dazzling graphical effects that bring playfields, schematics, and backglasses to life in this great film.

The interjection of the historical information about the hobby along with competition and collector focus pieces kept the DVD moving at a great pace. Some might take offense with the weird characters chosen to interview but it really does give some great insight into the obsession that comes with being a collector in this hobby!!

Fantastic job on this DVD. The only missing was extras and outtakes. I've had this DVD for 5 days and have already watcheed it 4 times. Phenomenal job guys!!

Gil
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By billyseven on February 27, 2011
Format: DVD
I felt that this production was of a high quality and definitely fun to watch in its attempt to cover most aspects of Pinball (from an industry to the hobby.) Included throughout the film are many industry luminaries, a number of hobbyist, and the top tournament players (circa 2006.)

I'm certain that this movie was produced with entertainment in mind and is definitely not a historical "Ken Burns" type documentary. There are MANY other various productions that may fulfill your thirst for this type of knowledge (I.E. TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball.)

I can see EastCoastArcade's point that this film features primarily extreme examples of Pinball collectors as well as many of the hobby's usual suspects when it comes to "characters". However I do not think it vilifies the Pinball hobby, but rather focuses on a colorful cross-section in an attempt to make the full length feature engaging to a viewer who has no vested interest in Pinball.

If you're someone who does own "multiple" Pin-games but doesn't take yourself or the hobby too seriously, I think probably enjoy this film! On the other hand if you hold a supreme reverence for the hobby... then you might not fully enjoy it. Special When Lit (Blu-ray)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on October 6, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a fun movie about pinball machines and their players. It provides some history of the machines and how they evolved, but it also shows pinball players doing "yoga," talking about the game, collecting machines, competing, and so on. The movie also shows (much as Trekkies does) that it's possible to become overly obsessive about ANYTHING. If there is a weakness to the movie, then it is the amount of time it spends interviewing some of the "characters" involved with pinball.

The graphics and production values used in the film are great. If you love pinball you'll like this movie.
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful By EastCoastArcade on January 30, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
After hearing the hype surrounding this documentary, I downloaded it on iTunes as soon as it became available. Was under the impression this would be THE pinball documentary, sadly I was mistaken (at least I only spent $10 and not the price they want for this bluray)

It's clear to me that the producers set out to find the craziest of the eccentrics in the hobby to interview. Which in a normal documentary of a hobby would make sense to interview one or two. But it seems 80% of special when lit is focused on people who probably need counseling on a professional level.

This movie felt more like an episode of Hoarders, or one of those daytime doctor shows. Plenty of awkward moments. They went for the extreme, and in doing so have seemed to vilify the hobby as something for those of questionable mental fortitude. Which isn't fair, there are tons more people who collect pins who are raising families, holding steady jobs and for them it's just a normal hobby. But unfortunately these people aren't covered at all in this film.

The nut jobs get more screen time than the two famed designers they had in this film. Gary Stern of stern pinball gets like 2 minutes. The fall of pinball to the video arcades was a 10 minute after thought at the end of the movie. Not even a mention of williams last ditch effort with Pin2K.

Sadly it seems their goal was to portray pinball in a negative light. I even read they had one of the players go back to the hotel to get his huge nerd glasses for the interview, because they thought it would be better for the film.

The only saving grace for this film is their interview with Roger Sharpe, and the owner of broadway arcade.

Overall a terribly inaccurate portrayal of the hobby. Tilt! is a much more informative documentary, and the extras included are well worth the dvd purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richardfirstnamer on September 4, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Some of these collectors have an amazing number of these great old machines. When they go to the pinball hall where the yearly contests are held it doesn't seem possible to be around that many pinball games.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack H. on March 25, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Loved all the info this gave about pinball. If you ever want to learn the history and culture of pinball this fits the bill!
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
Good documentary that takes viewers inside the world of die hard pinball fans and collectors.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I could barely keep myself from telling friends (with an interest in pinball, like myself) about this movie after having seen it. And I'm a girl, albeit a bit of a geek (talk nerdy to me, why dontcha?) but not much of a gamer. Anyway, the film takes you to Paris to get a close look at some of the early pinball machines housed there, takes you to various points around the U.S. for interviews and overviews of pinball's most recognized players and even champions the underdog a bit a la "Air Guitar Nation" (though not as thoroughly). Seeing how other people play pinball made me wonder, "Do I do that???" - which I can't possibly imagine. But, who knows! I guess I'll have to film myself to find out. Keep the flippers flippin' ... or cradle that ball. But, whatever you do? Watch "Special When Lit" at least once in your lifetime. It's a true American treasure!
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