Thursday, September 26, 2013

Movie Review

As promised here is my review of "Generation Iron" after watching it last night.

First of all, it wasn't showing at any local theaters so I had to search for a theater that was showing it. The closest was in Monterey Park, which is more than an hour away down in Los Angeles. My buddy Mike Harris and I went down to watch it with me.

Both Mike and I enjoyed the movie. It sort of had the look of the original movie "Pumping Iron" but it didn't have the same feel. "Generation Iron" seemed a little darker than "Pumping Iron" in the way it told the story and Mickey Rourke's gravelly voice attributed to that as well. I think another voice would have been better.

I did enjoy the training sequences. They were shot in a more artistic way than the hundreds of online videos of pros training. The cinematography did a great job of capturing the effort and the blood, sweat and tears of workouts. They aren't always pretty and the productive workouts do not look like posed magazine photo shoots.

The storytelling was good and most of the editing was top notch, but a few scenes were a bit awkward in the way b-roll was used. It seemed choppy and out of place at times.

The documentary was slanted towards Kai being the underdog much like Big Lou Ferrigno in the original. I guess you could say Phil Heath reprised the role of Arnold in this film. Heath was shown to be sort of an arrogant guy who thinks his natural talent goes further with hard work and because of that he won't lose to Kai or anyone else. My guess is that footage was edited in order to portray that more than what Phil intended. I'm pretty sure much of it was taken out of context.

Speaking of out of context, in the final match-up at the Mr. Olympia when Phil and Kai are waiting for the emcee to announce the winner, the emcee made a joke that there was only one point separating...  fourth and fifth place in an earlier division before the men's Mr. Olympia. The movie made it sound like there was only one point separating Phil and Kai. The actual scores reflected that Phil had almost all straight first place votes from the judges and it really wasn't that close. But that's a documentary for you. They try to build up drama and present a view that might not be accurate. Lots of documentaries do that.

I liked the personal side of the bodybuilders that the movie revealed. They were shown as real people instead of super heroes like the magazines portray them sometimes.

If the movie wasn't more than an hour away, I'd go see it again. It gets a thumbs-up from me. I will definitely buy the DVD when it comes out. Actually I'll probably pick up the Blue-Ray, which will finally give me an excuse to buy a Blue-Ray player.


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