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Dream big(ger)
kosmasp31 January 2021
I'm not so much into bodybuilding, though I do believe it's not a bad thing to keep in shape in general. Now I reckon some might have been aware of the story of the two brothers that are being highlighted here. I knew nothing about them and even though I am probably not the biggest draw this movie is trying to get, I was more than entertained.

Add to that a very well known figure coming into this very late in the game. That episode almost seems comical ... but the movie overall has a lot of comedic overtones. It actually plays between comedy and drama and walks that fine line quite neatly and with quite the confidence. The pacing is good, but some may find it a bit too slow and predictable. Still overall more than a decent effort and movie, even for those not in tune with what this is about .. because in the end, it is about believing in ones dreams and passions ...
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"So that's your hobby..., your body?"
classicsoncall7 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I first became aware of Joe Weider in the mid-Sixties, having taken up weights as exercise and a form of bodybuilding. It was via his magazine "Muscle and Fitness" and the reigning Mr. Olympia at the time was Larry Scott. The film is a rather sanitized look at the life of Joe Weider (Tyler Hoechlin) and to a lesser extent, brother Ben (Aneurin Barnard), who together built an empire based on bodybuilding and nutrition, and correctly prophesied that future athletes would all someday rely on weight training to improve their bodies and physical performance. As an overview, the picture hits the highlights of Joe's career, but with a brisk flourish that does little more than highlight an absolute obsession for his chosen passion. I got a kick out of how, while thinking quickly on his feet, he managed to create the IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) on the spur of the moment, as well as his future wife Kathy's (Victoria Justice) coming up with the name of the IFBB's crown jewel, the Mr. Olympia title - named after Olympia beer! I never knew that before, so there's a trivia bit that was worth the effort of watching the picture. What I would have liked to see more of were some of the big names who trained and flourished under Weider's tutelage, like the aforementioned Scott, Franco Columbo, and Frank Zane for example. The appearance of Calum Von Moger as Arnold Schwarzenegger fulfilled some of that expectation, but it glossed over Arnold's first attempt at Mr. Olympia, which he lost to Sergio Oliva. It wasn't until his second attempt that he made good. But for an obviously low budget film it accomplishes what it set out to do, and with Eric Weider (son of Ben) on board as Executive Producer, the film is a suitable tribute to the men that brought bodybuilding into the American mainstream.
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Fairly inspirational but mediocre
UniqueParticle6 May 2020
Great story about bodybuilding although Pain and Gain is better in my opinion. Tyler Hoechlin did a phenomenal job! Makes me a bit eager to workout more, I'm already a health nut. George Gallo is an awesome writer/director for many projects that's what intrigued me most to watch Bigger which was pretty good for what it is!
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I really wanted to see this but then again...
juanmuscle25 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I did not do to the fact that the same people that created my favorite sport kept it down and never truly allowed it grow thereby the bodybuilders' lives never really got a fair chance to flourish. I think greed is a bitch and it gets the best of all of us, although I do and I did enjoy the movie, as it was a thoughtful well written piece of work but there is a dark side to the Weiders as most big moguls who can and are savvy at business. There is so much that can be said about this strange cult sport, in fact, even within its sect the fans have a hard time attaching the proper label to our favorite "what bro, bb is not a sport its a beauty pagant" No its not, there are athletes working out all year of course its a sport" So there again, there is so much confusion and with the displaced homoeroticsm and the entire big complex and it goes on and on and on, there was never a chance that this could ever be in the Olympics. But we go on no matter what, we keep being fans, yes it is very very strange, but there have been breakaway moments in which this whatever it is, has really inspired by transcending the petty obvious and transporting us into the ineffable with really aesthetic creative beautiful posing routines, yes there is the heart of this , BB.

So yes it told a story, I think it kept it nice, very nice overtly so , perhaps becuase due to the stritures of this medium, but like anything that has been rammned in the closet for too long, if they had even opened up about any of the darkness within the factions of bb, it would have given egress to a massive deluge so , it was, and I think really what we get here is the personality of Joe and Ben, and their intent, a very nice one indeed, but... as all stories go, we must stumble into life and no one is perfect, perhaps they did want at some point to give as much back to their bb's but in the end fell short. It is too bad, but all in all, I think this tale really touched on the human spirit of someone who really loved everything about , whatever the hell this bitch is, BB!

We all as fans of it, hope and pray for the best for the all the people and their families involved, a start is all everyone is waiting for...
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A straight okay film.
kjjames8115 February 2019
Now I know about the sport of bodybuilding as I have trained in gyms in and off since the eighties and used to buy the Weider magazines.

So I was looking forward to this film to see old time bodybuilders. The film had a few in there but nothing as I thought there would be.

So the film itself was good but nothing special, I felt it played it safe, nothing controversial in it. I was waiting for a strong punchline, something that would say it was in the Raging Bull side of movies not Driving Miss Daisy side of films, it sided with the latter.

So I enjoyed but left disappointed with it.

Overall a good film but nothing special with it.
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Absolutely loved the movie!!
WatchAndSmile7 February 2019
I enjoyed it a lot. I am not a bodybuilder,I don't use steroids either just a regular guy who works out. Great acting and story. Why was it not in the movie theaters?? This is a gem. This is a very light movie with no steroid topics and other things that IFBB is famous for... regardless, it was great!
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Well, I always wonder when would have their own answer to UNITED PASSIONS.
CinePendejo18 January 2019
Before I get started, I want to address that I LOVE bodybuilding. I enjoy watching movies as well, hence my frequent visits in this site, but I first nurtured a strong passion for muscle building, clean dieting, and physical achievement. Currently embarking toward my Bachelors Degree in Athletic Training, I hold a high standard of how we treat our bodies as well as the unbelievable feats of strength of that involved. Sure we may be egocentric and a little too masculine, there's a lot of virtues about ideals tucked away within bodybuilding that would benefit all of life.

But even then, even I wasn't shocked by how godawful BIGGER turned out to be. A cheap and manipulating Lifetime special, it's a movie that way too often glorifies the life of one Joe Weider (The father of Bodybuilding) while unironically presenting the self-centered, borderline toxic elements of said life with an earnest smile. It's not even appropriate to call this a mandate by committee; if you tell me a whole bunch of meatheads from IFBB came together and made a film school project, this would've fit the bill.

For those who don't know, Joe Weider is what many would consider the Father of Bodybuilding, commencing his rise to fame by pioneering the Muscle&Fitness magazine and the Mr. Olympia competition. Growing up Jewish and poor during the dreadful years before World War 2, he envisioned that all people of different stripes have a right to achieve physical achievement the likes of the elite strongman of which he aspires from.

And from there is literally rinse and repeat; he gets bullied along with his brother Ben Weider, they discovered something revolutionary, a string of violins cue in at the inspirational moments, Joe meets a girl, they get a divorce due to complications with his work, he meets an archnemesis - a cartoonishly evil rival magazine publisher played by one of the bad guys from LOST - and he soon reaches entrepreneur status. There's facts about Muscle&Fitness, fit chick models, where he got the name Mr. Olympia, and the famous encounter with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Yes they're all important things that happened, but the film does absolutely nothing exceptional about it. Right down to a lazy framing device and the annoying Polish inflections by the otherwise capable Tyler Hoechlin, there's too many bad or uninspired filmmaking choices here to keep you invested. Even the admittedly timely philosophy within Weiders mission - about equality and female empowerment - just gets simplified by having the movie frame an opposing magazine publisher as a literal Nazi cartoon villain for the mighty Weider to defeat. I've seen Kevin Durand play one-note baddies before, but this somehow became a new low for the once-promising TV actor.

What's even more depressing yet totally expected is the refusal to delve deep into Weiders darker side. There's a hint within Victoria Justice's throwaway wife role that suggests that Weider might actually be a psychotic, workaholic weirdo who obsesses about how people look without considering the "normal" ways of living. As a man who personally had complications like this before, It would've looked intriguing to see this manifest properly but no. The movie is too much on his side to even think about challenging him, so it frames anybody with any questions about bodybuilding as equal to the Nazis and the bullies who dare take away his glory. It's just vaguely toxic and just misguided to watch onscreen.

But not about as misguided as the shockingly dumb decision to cast Callum Von Moger as Golden Age Schwarzenegger. The dude looks nothing like him no matter what fitness gurus tell me, and the audacity to see this lunk share clunky dialogue with dangly weirdo Weider makes me cringe. It's the type of obvious casting stunt that summarizes this uninspired, obviously calculated agenda of which this movie metastasizes from. Unless if you're biased about bodybuilding itself and thus don't have such a low tolerance for bargain-basement pablum, I would say that this man deserved a better movie.
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Unnecessary lies
jonathanmarklund7 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Joe and Ben Weider had extraordinary lives and accomplished so much on their own. I have no idea why this movie felt that they needed to invent unnecessary lies.

Weider did not invent the gym. Salzmann and Adolph Spiess started building indoor gymnasiums in the nineteenth-century. There was also several health clubs in France and England. John Wareing and Jack Lalanne created some of the oldest gyms in America in the early 1930's.

Weider did not discover Arnold. Arnold moved to England before he moved to USA, he competed against Sergio in the 1969 Mr Olympia but lost, and then came back in 1970 and won. The story about his legs was most likely from his trainer in England, not Weider.

Then you have the problems and controversies with Weider that isn't addressed in this movie. He was investigated on multiple occasions for false claims regarding his nutrients. Many of them ended in heavy lawsuits.

He was involved in gay porn that caused at least two clashes with obscenity laws. Today we don't view homosexuality as illegal activity, and it would actually have been interesting to hear the motivation behind not just 1 but 2 magazines. JEM came out in 1956. That was pretty darn risky at the time.

And there has been many scandals involving Mr Olympia. Accusations of fixed results, the suspension of Sergio Silva. The 1980 Arnold scandal, The 1981 Franco scandal, and this has continued all the way up until 2015 with Kai Greene.

The man was not a saint. And I for one would like to see an actual movie about that.
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From Saudi arabia.
raya22211 August 2019
I liked it because Tyler was there It's funny 😂😂😂
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Nice try, but very inaccurate
MasterFantastic30 November 2019
When I was a kid growing up and got into weight training, Weider's name was everywhere, and it still is. The film does a good job of painting Weider's formative years, but once it gets into the actual nitty-gritty of showing how the IFBB grew, the inaccuracies grow by leaps and bounds. As an example, the IFBB was founded in 1946, not 1951. Arnold, when he came to the US, barely spoke English, and even then, his accent was incredibly thick. (It still is, but he speaks English far better now).

My biggest quibble is with the acting and the script...both aren't great. Julianne Hough is pretty and does okay as Betty Brosmer (Weider), but as for the others...Tyler Hoechlin tries hard, but he fails to get that rather nasal intonation the real Joe Weider had. Kevin Durand is a decent actor, but here, he's just a foamin'-at-the-mouth rabid anti-Semite, and his character shows zero depth. Same for the rest of the cast, although I give Calum von Moger (Arnold S) credit for trying.

The inaccuracies--as mentioned before as well as by other commenters--continue with a lot of the movie glossing over the real way Weider and his brother worked. It was a cutthroat business, but the film fails to show how Weider managed to screw over other bodybuilders when it came to contracts and paying residuals for photo shoots. It does nothing to address the problem of steroids or the various legal scandals Weider went through. In short, it's a one-sided, rose-colored love song to the vast and, IMO, very flawed Weider empire.
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Take with a big grain of NaCl
dno-6071823 June 2019
I got into weightlifting in the mid 80's as my brother was a national level powerlifter so I read Muscle and Fitness as a teenager. I realized quickly the Weiders were a laughing stock among serious bodybuilders/weightlifters. Arnold Schwarzenegger made Joe Weider. I only watched this family produced homage out of my love for weightlifting...
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Excellent, solid movie throughout
nowackiandrew13 October 2018
I just saw this movie on opening day at the only theatre in the Bay Area that was showing it (in San Francisco).

This movie is excellent. Well paced, excellent editing; it tells the story of the Weider brothers as they lay the groundwork for what would become the fitness industry.

Anyone who grew up idolizing Arnold or any of the other body builders will love this too. The actor who plays Arnold is phenomenal - he looks, sounds, and acts like him.

My only complaint is the movie wasn't long enough. It ended a bit abruptly. But this movie is a solid 7.5 - 8 in my book. Engaging throughout, great acting, choreography, etc. I hope it gets the praise it deserves.
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metdvls-116 July 2020
I would 't go out of my way to see this movie again. Not horrible, but bot good either.

The life of Joe Weider is a fascinating topic. But too much dramatic license with the story. I wish Hollywood could just tell a story and not invent characters. Bad job by the writers.

I did like the acting. Well acted.
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Great film for exactly what it is....
carnagecarney16 January 2019
BIGGER is essentially the video biography of the grandfather of bodybuilding/nutrition, Joe Weider.

Perhaps best known for his weights (WEIDER across a set of plates or barbells at your local gym), Joe and his brother Ben arguably brought bodybuilding and the need for balanced nutrition to the forefront of western culture, some 60 years ago. The billion dollar market that exists today, is based on the template that Weider created with his magazines, equipment, pro competitions and the creation of the IFBB.

The film portrayal is loyal to his life, vision and clearly conveys the passion Joe obviously felt from a very young age without any outside influence in being drawn to the sport of bodybuilding (before he had it recognized as a sport).

To me, the firl was very entertaining beginning to end; some of the acting was a little wooden at times and downright awful at others (Calum Von Moger, looking at you) but it can be forgiven for these moments, since the goal of showing Arnold in his prime at a competition were achieved/believable, which obviously outweighed the requirement to have him be a good actor to boot. With that said, I really hope Calum pursues acting (after some good lessons) because it would be a lot of fun to see him throw people around in roles like Arnie used to do, coupled with memorable one-liners ( "Crush ya' enemies, see dem driven befo' you...")

All in all, a great movie which I recommend checking out. Solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Fitness is better than the Alternative
jallen7705-118 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I am not a body builder, but I found this to be a very inspiring story. While not a body builder I am an advocate of fitness. I was very fit in my Army days in the late 60's. I fell a bit off the fitness path in college, being exempt from P.E. because of my military service.

After graduation in 1972 and packing a few extra pounds I starter working out and joining a local gym.

I had three brother in laws that mocked me. They all have one thing in common. They are dead.

I was touched by the section of the story that said only certain people would read "Muscle and Fitness".

Fitness is for everyone no matter where you start !
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A nice propaganda piece for the Weider Empire
denny32120 October 2018
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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A truly fun and inspiring flick
dandiego-1549628 June 2020
My wife-an aspiring bodybuilder who lives and breathes nutrition and health-found this movie. We just finiahed watching it and really enjoyed it. The story, the acting, the characters-we liked it all.

We don't know the history specifics, but it all seemed pretty realistic. And biopics usually tend to enhance the exciting parts of history...and that might've occurred, I dunno. Regardless, we liked this film a lot and would recommend it to those who like fact-based movies and films about health and fitness.
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BB Fan I wanted this to be amazing.
aka_riley18 January 2019
Huge bb fan and in the industry so I was excited for this movie. Just felt like there was no crescendo. Interesting story however accurate it actually is. Would have been fun to see more of the Arnold/frank/Sergio competition. It was just a blip in the movie. I know it's about Weider but still that time was defined by the Oak.
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Great Movie
steve-lujan15 June 2019
Don't let the hater reviews dissuade you from seeing this movie. Most of them are body builders. I won't say failed. Maybe never did anything so they are super focused and critical of one of the founders of the genre. You can't deny that Joe Weider paved the way for many a pumped up meat puppet. Arnold included! And I actually had Weider Weights back in the day. Didn't make a difference, but that was my fault.
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Great Biopic
edelatorre288221 October 2018
I really enjoyed this movie. Fabulous acting by Tyler Holechin as Joe Weider and a solid supporting cast. Enraging for bodybuilding aficionados from beginning to end. Much respect and love for the Welder brothers.
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The old days
efremdedwards-099194 February 2019
Great story and great insight into the creation of bodybuilding.., a phenomena that has spread all over the globe.... I really enjoyed this film and recommend it
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sharkay-509658 October 2018
Loved the story and the authenticity. Good performances by the cast, especially Tyler Hoechlin.
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Really worthwhile!
lucky-5920218 January 2019
Wasn't sure what to expect but I have to say I was so impressed with this film! There seems to be some people that are part of the fitness industry writing reviews because they saw it before it was even released. The Weider's evidently had many rivals. They rose to the very top of the industry and we all know that everyone else tries to topple the king of the hill. I watched this film for its entertainment value and i can say without hesitation that it is beautiful, inspirational, and an exciting story that captivates the mind and spirit. Anyone who says otherwise has a personal agenda, period! I wish there were more films that were as fun and uplifting as BIGGER! This one is a real delight from the sets to the acting and even the beautiful score. Enjoy the ride.
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Excellent, Uplifting True Story that will inspire you.
notbusiness14 October 2018
This movie is a must - see. It is a true story about how the Weider brothers, originally from the "Jewish Ghetto" in Montreal, overcame poverty, antisemitism, ridicule, and a general lack of opportunity to help build the sport of bodybuilding and popularize the principles of physical fitness worldwide. Joe Weider became a legendary figure in bodybuilding, and the brothers created the Mr. Olympia contest and discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger in Austria along the way.

This film isn't just for fitness fanatics or bodybuilders though. It is a film about overcoming obstacles and believing in a dream, with some wonderfully developed characters that you can't help but cheer for (or hate, in the case of bad guy Bill Hauk brilliantly played by Kevin Durand).

What was particularly surprising, is how this film will resonate with women. It is not just a "get pumped" body-building muscle film. One of the most remarkable performances is by Julianne Hough who plays Joe's wife, Betty Weider FKA Betty Brosmer, a gorgeous 1950's pin-up girl (google it). Betty plays a central part in this story, and Joe Weider's reliance on her and obvious respect for her intellect and willingness to treat her as his equal is refreshing to see (esp considering the era in which these events took place and against the backdrop of the current #metoo movement).

The other reviews rave about Australian Calum Von Moger, who is an absolute dead ringer for a young Arnold Schwarzenegger (discovered by Joe Weider in the 1960's) not just physically but with his accent and attitude. All of the praise is well deserved, he nails it.

Joe Weider is played by Tyler Hoechlin, and tbh his voice / inflection is a little hard to get used to at first. But you realize, as the film develops, that the hesitation and stammering reflect his lack of experience and insecurity (fear?) and as he becomes older and more successful, he morphs into a confident man and the stuttering falls away.

The film starts a little slowly, but by the time you get to the scene in Murray's (sp) Restaurant you will be hooked.

Best movie I've seen in a long time, and I plan to see it at least once more.
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So Much Fun!
aceofcades12 May 2020
So glad I caught this film on HBO! I'm no obsessed bodybuilder worrying about insignificant details, but instead I watch a film to be entertained. Call me crazy 🤷‍♂️ It's not a doc, but instead, a really fun and inspirational look at a couple of guys who should be admired. Watch it, you'll have a blast!
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