Pumping Iron
Warner Bros. // PG // $19.98 // November 11, 2003
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted December 2, 2003
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Short Takes

This is probably the only acceptable reason for a grown man to ever spend an hour-and-a-half watching a bunch of other men, slathered in baby oil, flex and preen before whooping crowds. It's hard to believe it's been a full quarter century since Gubna Ah-nold first ascended Herculean hero status from his youth as a girly Austrian pipsqueak. Documentarians George Butler and Robert Fiore's cult phenom is still every bit the spectacle as they chart the five-time Mr. Olympia's leisurely stroll toward a sixth world title -- with a certain hulking, green-eyed underdog by the name of Lou Ferrigno nipping at his heels. It's funny. Often, it's dang awe inspiring, but not so much that any CineSchlocker'd be at risk of hauling off and joining a gym. Extras include the 20th anniversary Raw Iron "making of" that reveals, among other amusing insights, how Bud Cort (!?!) opted out of the schticky portion of this precursor to "reality" entertainment. Plus, Mr. Schwarzenegger takes time from the Cali campaign trail to offer a new reel answering many of the questions he's fielded over the years, such as: Did he really inhale? (1977, 85 mins, Fullframe, DD 5.1/2.0, Documentary with outtakes, Featurettes, Interview.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.


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