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Review - Kai Greene - A New Breed: Overkill: Volume 1

Director, writer and editor: Mike Pulcinella
Production Company: MuscleMeds 
Producer: Gerard Dente
Associate Producer: Steve Downs
Music: Martin Bailey

Any time I see Mike Pulcinella's name attached to a film project, I expect a documentary that is well shot, thought provoking, literate and absorbing. This film is all that and more. IFBB pro Kai Greene proves to be a unique and interesting subject for this gifted filmmaker.

Kai Greene is an unconventional individual who rose from a difficult life in Brooklyn, New York, to his position today as one of the top IFBB bodybuilders in the world. The film chronicles the last seven weeks of Kai's preparations for the 2009 Mr. Olympia competition. Mike shoots Kai and his trainer/mentor Oscar Ardon during Kai's last workout in Brooklyn. Then it is off to the desert of Las Vegas for the final seven weeks of training and eating. Both Kai and Oscar sacrifice their own personal lives to go for the Olympia title.

One is struck by the relationship between Kai and Oscar, which is truly brotherly. Oscar states that Kai is like family. Oscar and Kai offer insights into their thinking, and the workouts show how intense they are toward attainment of a common goal:  the Mr. Olympia title. This compelling psychological dimension adds to the film’s interest. Mike’s narration not only captures the intensity of the events, but reveals he finds himself in the position of being, as he says, "an interloper." He feels he has to be as distant and as inconspicuous as possible from his subject so as not to break the flow of events.

Mike puts other commentary to good use. His brother Dave Pulcinella and NPC promoter Gary Udit are interviewed, providing insight into what is happening to Kai. As a former top NPC competitor, Dave says that he would do exactly what Kai is doing if he had a shot at the Olympia.

Mike provides much food for thought, including the analogy of Las Vegas being Kai's sanctuary or prison. It seems to be both. Also mentioned is a biblical parallel of the forty days in the desert as compared to seven weeks in the desert of Las Vegas. This is perhaps a stretch, but still intriguing.

The film concludes with exclusive footage of the Olympia, with Kai's and Oscar's reaction to 4th place in Kai's first Olympia - it is surprisingly one of disappointment. The result is "not what they ordered" after seven weeks (even though Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson and Ronnie Coleman were not in the top six in their Olympia debuts).

Even given Mike's reputation as a filmmaker extraordinaire, I was still a bit surprised and impressed by the brilliance of the film. It is impossible to take your attention away from the screen. Kai’s further competitive life will be detailed in volume 2 - a film I look forward to. 

Gerry Triano, USA
April 2010

Kai Greene Mini Review by an Aussie bodybuilding competitor.

One of my only regrets (that and maybe not having an extra ripped 20kgs on my frame) at the recent Australian Pro GP #10 was not being able to meet and talk to Kai Greene that weekend.

I have heard all the Kai interviews, read the majority of the MD articles, and even spoke to a few that know him personally, but I still wanted to get to speaking one on one. I think I may have had a glimpse of that tonight, watching the Mike Pulcinella produced DVD Kai Greene "A NEW BREED" Volume 1- Overkill. I ordered this DVD from GMV on the back of hearing a podcast interview of the movie maker Mike Pulcinella, and heard him talking about his underground hit detailing his brother Dave's ill fated journey to an IFBB Pro Card. I liked the interview and I am a sucker for the 'underdog' story.

Anyway, the movie starts off pretty cruisy with footage of Kai training shoulders in his last workout, a little background on Kai and Oscar Arden.. then - 15mins in between the workout footage there's a cut away interview with Kai and he unleashes a rant about something internal and the violent rage which causes a man like Ronnie Coleman to put 800 on his shoulders and grind out deep squats. Shit, that shows a different Kai than we've been used to seeing... This guy's a beast.

"The Mr Olympia is.. The place, where.. the biggest, the baddest and the best IFBB professional bodybuilding champion of the world sits on his throne. When you aspire to become that person, to prove that you're best efforts can be met with the honours of that title...umm.. You know, it's a giant step.." - Kai Greene being Kai Greene.

Alex Velickovic
Melbourne, Australia  April 2010

Kai Greene – A New Breed – Vol. 1 Overkill (Dual Price: US$39.95 and A$59.95 in Australia)PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO THE DVD.

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