Friday, August 1, 2008

Bigger Stronger Faster - a Movie review

There is a theatre just 3 or four short blocks away from my house. It is one of those old-timie theatres with one screen and dilapidated chairs and bad sound quality etc. Ok, it is not that bad but you get the picture. I love those theatres. They always feel like they are transporting me back to the 1950s.

For the past few weeks I have seen they were advertising a movie called Bigger Stronger Faster* . the movie billed itself as being one about America's love affair with being the best and how we try to get there; specifically, by the use of anabolic steroids.

I am a sucker for documentaries, and being an athlete am a sucker for any movie or book or whatnot that is about them. Heck, while a movie crew should have followed me around during Fiddy2, I will still go watch Dean's movie because I like movies about sports so much! :)

Plainly put, however, THIS movie delivers. While never taking a hard line stance for or against steroids it actually is a rather refreshing look at the use of these performance enhancing drugs. Told from the viewpoint of the narrator whose family consists of three boys who grew up weightlifting and playing sports, it is very unique. Two of the brothers openly admit to STILL using steroids for the competitions in spite of the hurt it may bring to their families in the long run. The narrator, the middle child, is appalled at the thought of using steroids but never once becomes preachy or judgmental in his questions to his brothers about their use.

The narrator, Chris Bell, also seeks out answers from the big names in all of this. He invokes the steroid scandal in MLB by talking about Barry Bonds and others. He makes note of the professional wrestling scandals as well, given the WWF was the reason why he and his brothers got into weightlifting.

No clear cut answer is given as to whether steroids or actually as evil as they are made to be and as we are told they are in the media. In fact, there is a competing argument made, very well mind you, that they are no where near as bad as we are told. IT is actually a very enlightening movie and thought-provoking as well.

I highly recommend you check it out if it comes to your town.


Kristin said...

I saw this movie about a month and a half ago... I actually thought it was way too pro steroids and didn't really delve too deeply into the negatives... Just my opinion though... Still a good movie.

Dane said...


I felt that way at first and then I rethought it. I think that because it wasn't so ANTI-steroids that it seemed "pro-steroids". It was shocking to see how flippant people were about taking them and telling the camera their story which I think colored my initial opinion.

Annie C said...

People usually ask if I'm on 'roids, but I attribute my size to caloric intake.

Yellow Scuba said...

Sounds interesting. Maybe it will make it to one of the artsy theatres around here.