We see more reviews on "Bigger Stronger Faster" hitting the 'net. The LA Times looked very favorably on the film:
Sylvester Stallone, Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 1980s saw an explosion of butt-kicking in America, observes Christopher Bell in the raucously funny and surprisingly insightful prologue to his debut documentary, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster*." And as a 12-year-old kid from a loving but undeniably short and doughy family in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Bell and his brothers were particularly susceptible to the message. As he reminds us, the don't-mess-with-the-U.S. Reagan years were an overheated response to '70s downers such as the Iran hostage crisis. But for the Bell boys, it was simply a call to ripped, bulging arms.
What began simply as a documentary about steroid use in America, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster*" (The asterisk refers to the movie's subtitle: "The Side-Effects of Being American") turns out to be a surprisingly comprehensive and insightful look at a culture predicated on might and obsessed with achieving success at any cost. This, more than rampant steroid use among professional athletes, is what makes Bell's documentary so timely and ultimately so sobering. What Bell and co-writers and producers Alex Buono (who also shot the movie) and Tamsin Rawady discover -- through countless hours of interviews, news, movie and cartoon footage as well as home video of the Bell family -- is a country in which it's literally impossible to win if one plays by the rules, because winners almost always cheat...
"Bigger, Stronger, Faster*" works so assiduously to prove that the level playing field is a myth that at times the sheer number of examples threatens to overwhelm it; it would have worked at half the size. (Like the nation, it's a documentary on steroids.) Overall, though, it's a fascinating and unexpectedly profound and melancholy meditation on what we have become as a country and on the misguided obsessions that made us this way.
The Morning Call asks if steroids are as American as apple pie?
In Christopher Bell's new documentary ''Bigger, Stronger, Faster,'' there's a fascinating clip of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden denouncing steroid use during a packed congressional hearing on performance-enhancing drugs. Juicing your way to success, he thunders, is ''simply un-American.''
Bell has a different story to tell. In the doc, which opened Friday in Philadelphia, the filmmaker wonders if steroid use isn't quintessentially American. We are a nation, Bell points out, that's obsessed not only with body-image but with being the best at everything.
Pervasive cheating: American or simply human>