Monday, January 12, 2009

"Bigger, Stronger, Faster", a Review

I couldn't wait to let my eyes feast on this movie. Unfortunately, it had a limited release. Vermont translation: I would have to wait until it came out on DVD. Since then, I watched it three times and it certainly lived up to the reviews that I read.

When it comes to movies like this, I think that calling them documentaries is a bit generous. A documentary should be independant of the person's viewpoints. This generation of "documentaries" has a fair amount of subjective input. If anything, I'd call them video opinion essays.

Whatever it is, it's a great movie. It gives a remarkably good look at our culture's outlook on performance-enhancing drugs, right down to our kid's use, the hysteria against it, the triggers of the rise of PED's, the developments, the past, the future all framed by the Director/star/narrator Chris Bell's agonizing about his reluctance to use steroids even while his two brothers do. It asks some great questions about our perceptions on the topics and offers some evidence that will make you think about your beliefs on the topic.

There are things that I don't like about the movie. I realize that the hard studies about the side effects of steroids haven't been done yet. Still, I think that this movie leans towards steroids being safe to use for recreational purposes. I don't agree with the assessment of America being a collection of cheaters always looking for an edge. I think that is an issue that all competetive people grapple with and isn't limited to the United States.

Still, this movie does it's job very well. It's going to make you think and even re-think your views about steroid use and performance enhancement in general. The movie has a sort of whimsical, self-depreciating value to it. It gives it a sort of personal touch. If you haven't seen it, then you owe it to yourself to rent a copy and check it out.

1 comment:

Christopher Robbins said...

I saw the movie the other day also and thought it was well done. It was also sad to find out that the one brother, Mike "Mad Dog" Bell died back in december.