Bigger Stronger Faster * Review

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We hit the local theater on Friday night and were met with a sight I haven’t seen there ever before. There were kids packed all over the outside of the theater. The strange part about that is that this theater had always been an adult venue primarily. Clearly they were all there to see Kung Fu Panda. I’m not sure why but the previews for that movie have done nothing to interest me in it. I’m waiting for the end of the month for, WALL-E.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster* Movie PosterWhat we did choose to see was a film I hadn’t even heard of prior to yesterday called Bigger Stronger Faster *. It sounded interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it was running at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes which is the only time I’ve seen that happen after at least 25 reviews (it had 33). I was curious to see if our problems with movies rated in the 90’s would hold up with movies holding a perfect 100 score. Second, the movie is a documentary that touts being from the producers of a couple of top Michael Moore movies. While I like Moore personally, the idea of a Michael Moore-like movie without Michael Moore actually in it might be curious and could appeal to a wider audience given all those who despise the guy.

The movie is about the world of steroids and the reasons behind its impact on our society. The guy behind it, Chris Bell, did a tremendous job of balancing the issue. It was a wonderfully eye-opening experience providing a perspective much wider than any previously put forth that I’d encountered. It challenged all the current “wisdom” on the issue and pushed thinking on all fronts.

In the end the movie really isn’t so much about steroids as it is about the impact of American society on the issue of steroids. It’s about the pressure our lives put on us to be perfect and on those who fight steroids instead of attacking the bigger issue of that predominant pressure. It makes much use of the obvious double-standards that are applied at every turn on the issue.

I will say that I would think twice, as a parent, about bringing any of your kids to see it. I would much rather leave my son in the dark on the issue for now as there’s a chance upon seeing this that they might get the impression that using steroids is perfectly fine.

While it’s hard to say that the movie matches it’s 100 rating (universal appeal?) we certainly enjoyed it. For a bit it felt more like it should have been a documentary on A&E or some other cable network but that’s not that big a deal. In the end it’s a movie that’s going to challenge you on your views of this issue no matter what they are and that’s not a bad thing.

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