Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bigger, Stronger, Faster* (2008) PG13 - 3 Stars

This was a simple yet great documentary on the use of performance enhancing drugs; steroids. Directed by Christopher Bell, it accounts the life of himself and his two brothers who went from overweight boys, to muscle thriving men. The boys grew up watching their heroes like Hulk Hogan, in wrestling matches, striving to be just like them. As they take extreme measure of religious work outs, they find themselves unable of achieving "greatness." Two of the brothers Mark "Smelly" Bell, and Mike "Mad Dog" Bell, turn to steroids to enhance their performance. Christopher Bell, believing the usage of the drugs is just like cheating, does a good objective job researching into anabolic steroid use and where do we draw the line of what's fair and not fair.

The film focuses on the hypocrisy in our American culture as we strive for perfection. If you don't compare to the man or woman on the magazine cover, you're nothing. The movie gives a fair comparison between both sides of the debate including clips of the political congressional hearings on the subject of steroids in all Sports including the Olympics. America's need to win mentality can tend to overlook the obvious until it's exposed as a bad thing. Bell gives us a small look into athletes lives such as Barry Bond, Lyle Alzado, Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Lewis heroes to he and his brothers while growing up. Society looks up to these iconic stars as the greatest in the world trying to ignore the facts on how they got there. I liked the analogy of Tiger Woods having eye surgery to enhance his vision to 20/15 and why is this not looked upon as the same type of advantage. Should this be considered cheating as well? There are many legal substances such as creatine, and protein, that enhance performance but not giving the same attachment.

Magnolia Pictures
Director: Christopher Bell
Writers: Christopher Bell, Tamsin Rawady, Alexander Buono
Producers: Alexander Buono, Tamsin Rawady, Jim Czarnecki
I viewed 4/10

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