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Bigger (2018)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 12 October 2018 (USA)
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The inspirational tale of the grandfathers of fitness as we now know it, Joe and Ben Weider. Facing anti-Semitism and extreme poverty, the brothers beat all odds to build an empire and inspire future generations.

Director:

George Gallo
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Cast

Credited cast:
Julianne Hough ... Betty Weider
Kevin Durand ... Bill Hauk
Tyler Hoechlin ... Joe Weider
Steve Guttenberg ... Louis Weider
Robert Forster ... Joe 2008
Aneurin Barnard ... Ben Weider
Victoria Justice ... Kathy Weider
Colton Haynes ... Jack Lalanne
DJ Qualls ... Michael Steere
Max Martini ... Jerry George
Calum Von Moger ... Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tom Arnold ... Roy Hawkins
Billy Reilich ... Reg Park
Christian Finlayson ... Young Joe Weider
Nadine Lewington ... Anna Wieder
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Storyline

Brothers Joe and Ben Weider were the architects of muscle. Against all odds, they launched an empire. Along the way they discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger, inspired female empowerment, championed diversity, and started a movement that changed the world. Written by Steve Lee Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Created Fitness As We Know It, Together They Changed the World

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some suggestive content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bigger See more »

Filming Locations:

Birmingham, Alabama, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,477, 14 October 2018

Gross USA:

$46,382

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,382
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyler Hoechlin (Joe Weider) & Colton Haynes (Jack Lalane) both play characters in the Arrowverse, the CW's series of super hero shows. Tyler plays Superman & Colton plays Speedy, a bowman. See more »

Goofs

Stock footage of Times Square cites the year as 1970. But a theatre marquee shows "The Possession of Joel Delaney" playing -- it was released in 1972. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice propaganda piece for the Weider Empire
20 October 2018 | by denny321See all my reviews

As a biography, Bigger hearkens back to the days when Hollywood biopics cranked out knights in shining armor using whatever mixture of fact and fiction they thought would fill the seats and send everybody home happy. Joe Weider is a presented as a blemish-free altruist who only wants to help the world become a fitter place; various inconvenient aspects of Joe's private and professional lives - including the timing of his two marriages and the existence of his daughter, legal difficulties stemming from highly exaggerated claims of his products' effectiveness, questionable treatment of business partners, and strong presence in the gay-oriented "beefcake magazine" market of the 1950s and early 60s with titles like Adonis and Body Beautiful - are either glossed over or ignored completely. Meanwhile, the villainous foil "Bill Hauk", officially claimed to be a composite of several real-life characters but pretty clearly a representation of U.S. Olympic weightlifting coach and rival muscle mag publisher Bob Hoffman, is a cartoonishly evil, racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, violent thug. Exec produced by nephew Eric Weider, the film plays like the Weider Empire's bid for Joe's sainthood.

Historical inaccuracies and omissions aside, as a movie it just isn't very satisfying. The years flip by so quickly it's difficult to build up much momentum, and we're often left wondering exactly how last year's big dilemma played out. Tyler Hoechlin as Joe does a capable job mimicking Weider's distinctive Polish/Yiddish/Quebecois accent but tacks on an awkwardly stilted manner of speech; oddly, both of these are absent in the always-classy Robert Forster's portrayal of Joe as an old man. The labored delivery combined with Joe's single-minded obsession with fitness makes him appear to be a sort of Rain Man of bodybuilding, and only succeeds in distancing the audience from the character. Repeated anti-Semitic attacks and accusations of homosexuality fail to build the viewer's sympathy after the first few instances, with a mounting array of epithets not heard for a while in a non-Tarentino movie.

The film tries hard to present Joe Weider's life story as a classic David-versus-Goliath struggle. But given the ending we already know, it's pretty clear that this David's goal all along was to become an even bigger Goliath.


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