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Bigger, Stronger, Faster* (2008)

Christopher Bell , Mark Bell , Christopher Bell  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Bell, Mark Bell, Mike Bell, Christian Boeving, Floyd Landis
  • Directors: Christopher Bell
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B7CNW4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,222 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bigger, Stronger, Faster*" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

When you discover that your heroes have all broken the rules, do you follow the rules, or do you follow your heroes? From the producers of Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 comes a powerful new documentary that unflinchingly explores steroid use in the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world: America.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Bigger, Stronger, Faster", the new documentary from Chris Bell, and produced by many of the people who have worked on Michael Moore's documentaries, is a very entertaining, level-handed look at the use of steroids in America.

"Bigger" is better than your average documentary for two key reasons. Chris Bell is a likable, very real guy and he guides us through this maze of information much like he probably learned about it in the first place, giving us an in depth look into the use of steroids and how they have affected both the practice and perception of sports in America, and to a lesser extent, the world.

The second, and perhaps more important reason this film sticks out is because it comes from a personal place in Chris' life. As he quickly explains during the beginning of the film, he was the middle of three children, all boys, who grew up with a loving, overweight mother and a loving, but busy with work father. In an attempt to stand out from the rest of the kids, each of the brothers decides to take up weight lifting and try to become famous as wrestlers, hoping to follow the likes of their heroes, Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger into the limelight. They each transform their chubby bodies into bulky muscle powerhouses, but the fame is still fleeting.

Chris' older brother, Mark, actually makes it into the WWE, but his role is that of the guy who always gets beaten up by the more powerful and more famous wrestlers. He doesn't last long. So he starts to take steroids.

Chris decides the way to make it into the limelight is to move to Southern California, to be closer to the action, and the auditions.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good in many ways but also rather saddening January 22, 2010
Format:DVD
3.8 stars

Chris Bell succeeds here when he keeps things personal. Describing his youthful worship of Ahnold and Sly, talking with his brothers about their steroid use, detailing the collapse of his dream of moving to Cali and becoming a champion lifter. But as the movie goes on, the increasingly obvious pro-steroid slant skews what seemed like objectivity to the point that by the end, one wonders which steroid manufacturers helped finance this film.

The nadir is the "Steroids 101" section, wherein Bell attempts to seem unbiased and present just the facts, ma'am. Yes, your testes shrink while using...but they grow back when you stop! Yes, women's reproductive systems change...but it...uh...it...umm, well they may not return to normal. But on to the next, positive point! It's moments like this, glossing over the many physiological negatives of artificially bombarding your body with many times its natural production of hormones, that ultimately derail this film.

Bell seems balanced for a while, then his weird, subtly expressed regret over not taking juice earlier in his career kicks in and he becomes a cheerleader for 'roids, interviewing only doctors who are on the fence, and ignoring the many who could show the other side. Any serious juicehead will tell you that to counteract the many side-effects of 'roids, a ton of other chemicals must be taken to protect the liver and various other body parts that go into crisis in the unnatural roided-up state. How can that be healthy?

But Bell seems content with the argument, expressed by many pro athletes here, that "everyone's doing them, so to compete, I must too".
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Chris Bell's "Bigger, Stronger Faster*" is a brilliant documentary. His triumph is to crystallize the steroids debate into its effects on a single family: His own. The stars of the film are the Bell brothers - big brother Mark (aka, Mad Dog) is a would-be WWE wrestler; younger brother Mike (aka, Smelly) is one of the world's top power lifters; and writer/director Chris - no less addicted to perfecting his physique - balances his bodybuilding obsession with a degree from USC Film School. His unique blend of interest and career path has given us a fascinating film.

Here's the thing: his work is neither ardently pro- nor anti-steroids. But, as its subtitle ("the side-effects of being American") implies, Bell notes what happens when three young brothers obsessed with wrestling (we see family tapes of them re-enacting WWE plotlines) have the various heroes of their youth (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, and Sylvester Stallone as notable examples) subsequently revealed as pharmaceutically-fueled.

It's a testament to Bell's skill as a filmmaker that the unexpected standout is Smelly's wife, Andie. Attractive and articulate, she emerges as the soul of the film. She comes across as a decent, trusting person. Without belaboring the point, Bell makes you see her as testament to his brother's depth and inherent goodness. Her presence also evokes feelings of betrayal in the film-goer when Smelly begins to waffle on his "no more steroids" vow at the end of the film.

Despite the glut of documentaries that have flooded the film world over the past two years, this one ranks at the top of my list.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and useful
This is a very good documentary. It argues that anabolic steroid use is pretty consistent with US love of winning at all costs, that the negative effects of anabolic steroids are... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel A Goldman
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
excellent documentary, everyone should watch. the concept of the perfect physique is something everyone has experienced, understanding how marketing has exploited this concept... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steve Brownsberger
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opener. everyone should watch.
this was even made before the armstrong fiasco. let's re-evaluate what we value, and not sing too many praises for the roided up gladiators of our time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Walton
4.0 out of 5 stars Roids
It is a good documentey on the use of steroids by pro athletes and gym rats. I doesn't seem completely one sided
Published 3 months ago by Cole Houghton
4.0 out of 5 stars Facts? What are those?
I found this documentary to be very entertaining as well as informative.

The documentary discusses the hypocrisy behind the origins and current laws associated with... Read more
Published 3 months ago by honeste vivere
5.0 out of 5 stars my review
I got this for my boyfriend for christmas, but we both really enjoyed it. the old wrestling footage was so fun to watch and the story of the three brothers was really interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Morganne Wood
1.0 out of 5 stars good movie, bad delivery
the case for the movie was broken.. basically bent in half at the corner. The dvd itself was fine but the case was extremely banged up
Published 3 months ago by elle
5.0 out of 5 stars A Documentary on Steroids
Bigger, Stronger, Faster offers a complex image of 'what it means to be an American,' and the consequences of allowing oneself to adhere to such an image. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steve D.
5.0 out of 5 stars good
I had no issues at all
very nice
It was packaged perfect and it was a great purchase

thank you
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Met mark bell at a powerlifting seminar a year ago has he's a true bad ass. This is a great movie with both sides of a big debate and allows you to decide for yourself where you... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jonathon Lawson
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