7.6/10
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62 user 79 critic

Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.

Director:

Chris Bell

Writers:

Chris Bell (as Christopher Bell), Alexander Buono | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chris Bell Chris Bell ... Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hank Aaron ... Himself (archive footage)
Lyle Alzado ... Himself (archive footage)
Joshua Amsden Joshua Amsden ... Himself
Ben Aukes Ben Aukes ... Himself
Kelly Beecher Kelly Beecher ... Himself
Mark Bell Mark Bell ... Himself
Mike Bell ... Himself
Rosemary Bell Rosemary Bell ... Herself
Sheldon Bell Sheldon Bell ... Himself
Joe Biden ... Himself (archive footage) (as Sen. Joseph Biden)
Mike Blanton Mike Blanton ... Himself
Christian Boeving ... Himself
Barry Bonds ... Himself (archive footage)
Jim Bunning ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream. Written by BSF Film

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The side effects of being American. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving drugs, language, some sexual content and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bigger Stronger Faster*: *The Side Effects of Being American See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,576, 1 June 2008

Gross USA:

$308,575

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$308,575
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BSF Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2015 interview on the Steve Austin Podcast with brother Mark Bell, director Chris Bell admitted that after completing the film, he did casually use steroids to improve his power lifting performance. He claimed he knew after filming that they would not kill him, so the risk was low. However, he stressed that it was in moderation, and clarified that he told people to reconsider using them "all the time." See more »

Quotes

Fighter Pilot: In sports you should play fair. In war, you shouldn't play fair at all.
See more »

Connections

References Rocky (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice surprise.
12 January 2011 | by bodegamediaSee all my reviews

This doc outlines the current situation regarding the use of steroids as performance enhancers, bodybuilding drugs and in conventional medicine. The film does a pretty good job of outlining the facts and the pseudo-science behind some claims as well as letting us hear peoples views on steroids, where they are actually being used and to what effect.

Where this film becomes unique and interesting is in the story of our narrator and filmmaker Mike Bell. Mike is one of 3 brothers who all grew up watching pro wrestling and 80's action movies. Into their teens they became football players, then wrestlers and eventually competitive power lifters. Today, his 2 brothers use steroids to enhance their performance whereas Mike is totally anti steroids.

The agenda of the film is clearly setup as a predictable anti steroids expo but as the debate opens up the film progresses into something different and much more interesting. At times evidence is in defence of steroids and though I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a pro steroids film, it's certainly open-ended. The film itself is presented and produced really quite well. We even touch on some wider issues of genetic modification in livestock, which somehow comes out in defence of steroids as they are quite simply not to blame for these monstrous beef hulks.

Without conclusion, the film gives us a well-rounded outline of the debate as well as introducing us to some tragic and not so tragic characters along the way.

This film succeeds in entertaining and provoking debate and is really well paced. The mix of factual investigation and personal stories and interviews strikes a balance rare in documentary and quite satisfying to watch. Worth a look.


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