Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

That Small Print underneath the title states "the side effects of being American"
Genre - Documentary
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 100 minutes
Directed by Chris Bell
Written by Chris Bell & Alexander Buono
Cast Includes the members of Chris Bell's Family (himself, his two brothers Mark and Mike, his mother Rosemary, and his father Sheldon) as well as a slew of other famous athletes, stars, etc.
Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:

In sports, winning is everything, and the pressure to succeed can drive some athletes to start taking banned substances. Filmmaker Chris Bell points the camera at his brothers and himself, all users of steroids. By exploring the reasons behind and the effects of steroid use within his family, Bell calls into question the win-at-all-cost attitude so prevalent within American society.

Review:

Fantastic or Fraud? Hero or Hoax? Champion or Cheater? Legend or Liar? Phenom or Phony? These are some of the questions that writer/director, past steroid user, Chris Bell focuses on in this documentary of Anabolic Steroid Use. (anabolic steroids, also known as "the juice", are derived from the male hormone testosterone)

Bell starts off the documentary by going back to his childhood heroes, which back in the mid-eighties were the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Hulk Hogan. To him and his brothers, it was all about the muscles! Eventually this fascination with building up their physique led to all three brothers using steroids. Due to guilt, the writer/director of this documentary - Chris - decided to quit using. Both of his brothers are still using though, and plan to continue, probably for the rest of their lives.

Chris does a superb job of honestly focusing on steroid usage within our society, not only among body builders, but also among athletes throughout all sports, even in the Olympics. I definitely recommend this film, especially if you enjoy documentaries or are at all curious about steroids in general.

As for me, I am against steroid usage (especially in sports!) If you know me at all, then you know that I am a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts. When you put two guys in a cage, facing one another, do you think it at all fair, if one has been using steroids, to hopefully better himself more than his opponent? Not me! I was crushed when, last year, my favorite fighter - Sean "the muscle shark" Sherk - had his belt stripped and was suspended for 6 months for "apparent" steroid usage! :-(

This film is not really pro or con, it is just an honest look at our society's fascination with physique. It does have some very interesting view points (both good and bad) and is quite humorous at times, like when they compare earlier models of G.I. Joe compared to now-a-days. (Back in the 70's, he was an average looking guy, then in the 80's his biceps got a little bigger, then in the 90's he had a 6-pack, and now he is just completely ripped) Chris also spoke with Stan Lee [If you do not know who he is, shame on you!] ;-) about the physique of Super-Heroes, etc.

One other thing that completely amazed me was when Chris was talking about Supplements, in general - me made a bottle (to prove a point) for around $1.50, which could easily sell for $60.00!! Unbelievable!

Just thought I would leave you with this picture. . .

Here's the Trailer:

Jason

10 comments:

jessi1974 said...

I have a good friend that has used steroids for years. He's quite open about it, doesn't participate in any sports, he just uses them for the extra bulk when he works out. I don't agree with them either, so I may need to check this out and have him watch it as well. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Ryan said...

Good review bro...it is at the top of my Netflix queue!

thebonebreaker said...

Anytime Jessi! :-)

Though I doubt that this documentary will change your friend's mind. . . It wouldn't hurt though! :-)

J

thebonebreaker said...

Thanks Bro! :-)

Let me know your thoughts, after you've watched it.

J

Red said...

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danette_jalil at yahoo dot com

That bulked up gave you left us a photo of, he was in another TV special, something like on the Discovery channel type thing. He was so pumped on the juice that his arms burst. Some poeple just don't know when to quit.

thebonebreaker said...

Are you serious?!?

I wonder why they did not talk about that!! (perhaps it happened after the filming of the documentary?)

That guy's name is Gregg Valentino

J

scary film reviewer said...

now here's a movie i've been dying to see. Too bad netflix has it as a long wait.

thebonebreaker said...

Yeah, I just happened to time a return perfectly, so that I caught it before the list grew! :-)

It's worth the wait though!

J

The Lightning Bug said...

Guess I'm in for a long wait on Netflix as well cause this looks facinating

thebonebreaker said...

It is - I am glad to see that at least others are aware of it :-)

J