my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Pinball Summer
Director:   George Mihalka
Year:   1980
Genre:   Teen Comedy
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   08.23.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- My Bloody Valentine

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
08.23.06Weird Wednesday So it's late... I've got my late nite disc spinning... time for some naive ramblings.

To get it out of the way, this movie was a pretty stale teen comedy only made interesting by the fact that it kind of revolves around pinball. My buddy Steve loves pinball and I think he would really love to live in this universe forever. It's clear that 1980 was like the last huge wave of pinball... 1980 Also seems to be the pinnacle of women wearing no-bra tanktops and tight hot pants... i am NOT complaining... it was actually the most enjoyable aspect of the movie for me.

I guess that's being harsh. The crowd had a good time with this, lots of laughter, and there were some things... like the totally completely gay overtones with the main guys and the fact that the bad greaser biker guy was named Bert with an "e." To me, Bert is soo much cooler and funnier than burt. A while ago i wrote a short script starring a robot bartender and I came up with a reasonable acronym in order to name him B.E.R.T. (Brilliantly Efficient Robot Tender (hey, i didn't say "genius acronym," i said "reasonable)). Plus Lars had a pretty great intro where he said this movie might be completely horrible or it might be genius. He's not sure. It's pretty horrible until you start to realize that pinball extends to this bizarre existential metaphor... and then you see how the whole movie is just these kids letting inertia point them in a direction that they go until they hit something or bounce off someone and carom off in some other direction. It's true none of the people really DO anything in this movie... so when they finally get around to this pinball tournament near the end of the movie, and we see that the pinball game is called "Pinball Summer" with drawings of the movie's characters and vehicles on it... it all starts to make some sort of sense...

or not.

So... I dunno, I'd say this is a pretty mediocre movie only made fun by the audience.

Which really tripped me off into a thought tangent. I remember a college buddy of mine named Trapper... when we had various websites where we reviewed movies and DVDs and trailers, he'd always be the guy who liked something the rest of us hated. His standpoint would be like "well I'm sure someone likes this" and forgive an awful lot about a movie because someone worked hard to make it. I disagreed with him then, mostly to defend my scathing condemnation of some piece of crap, but as I sat in the theater tonight I realized that 2 or 3 years ago, I would totally completely hate this movie forever. And Trapper would probably say "well it was fun because we saw it with a good crowd that brought out the humor" and I'd probably disagree... and you know, I still can't let go of that difference between the quality of the movie and my enjoyment of it. I still think that there's some ultimate objectional quotient of quality that a movie ends up with... that's indisputable no matter what anyone says. Like a movie like Casablanca or Rushmore is just good. It's just plain good and if you don't like it, it's your fault. Aliens, if they came down and needed to use cinema to fuel their space ships, would pay more for Casablanca than Snake Eyes.

But is that really true? One thing this past year of going to the Alamo pretty regularly and also in keeping this journal has shown me pretty clearly that it's hard to separate your experience from the movie. I still do it... like I'll call a movie shitty but say I like it, but most of the time I'll like something in spite of a bad audience or because of a good one... does that make the movie I liked in the room full of assholes better than the one I liked in the warm responsive one? Maybe, Maybe not... ok yes. yes it does... but the experience does factor.

I would not have liked Pinball Summer at all if I watched it alone in my apartment. No Chance.

But you know... this makes me think of something else. If the big reason why I enjoyed watching this movie tonight is to see the 1980 pinball and hotpants, does that mean in 20 years people will like movies like Armageddon and Enemy of the State because they'll get to see early CGI or "bad" performances circa the late 90s? I can't imagine Pinball Summer had many fans when it came out... I think 1980 people just thought it was a cheap sucky teen comedy.

Of course so much has changed with cinema itself to make movies of that era stand out in their own unique way... and I think a love of that era itself generates a lot of love nowadays... so maybe in a few decades, the movies coming out now will take on a collective identity that people go for then... so in essence the movies that I hated and argued with Trapper about will become the movie that I watch with a good crowd at a Weird Wednesday equivalent and have a good time with.

We're all just pinballs, man... bouncing off bumpers and cradling flippers until fate tilts the table.
  You can use this form to send me an email. Name and E-mail Address fields are optional, but in order to prove that you are not a heartless spam robut, you must answer this simple movie trivia question.
???: What's the movie with the killer shark where Roy Scheider says "We're gonna need a bigger boat?"
E-mail Address: