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1999 English Grand Prix DVD review by Steve Buccilli

 In or around the year 2000, I was thumbing through an issue of Flex magazine. I came across an ad for some contest videos by a company named GMV. In the past I had purchased many of the BFTO videos and was very pleased with those; but this was a company I had never heard of, and I was concerned with the type of quality I would get. The ad had a photo of Ronnie Coleman winning the 1999 English Grand prix. So I said to myself “what the hell it’s only money.” I ordered 2 tapes, the 1998 IFBB Finish Grand Prix and the 1999 IFBB English Grand Prix.

 I would like to review the 1999 English Grand Prix, since GMV has recently released it on DVD. The first thing I noticed was the visual quality of this video. Superb doesn’t do it justice. Excellent visual details. The lighting for the show was excellent and the video captures this. Why is this important? Because the athletes look so much better under good stage lighting.
 The video starts out with a guest posing exhibition by Tommi Thorvildsen. If you are any kind of fan of Tommie, you will want to buy this DVD for this aspect alone.

 Tommie is in better shape then he has ever been in, or at least better that I have ever seen. He could have placed in the top 8 of this show with what he displayed. Ripped is an understatement. He comes out dressed as Darth Vader, and does his trademark back flip. All very entertaining.

 The contest MC is none other then Dorian Yates, who co-promoted this show with his business partner Kerry Kayes. Having only retired the year before Dorian looks pretty dapper in his suit and even playfully threatens to join the other athletes.

 Apparently this pro show also hosted an amateur grand prix in which the winner was awarded a pro card. This amateur contest had some controversy in that the favorite, Jamo Nazzar, did not win, thus gaining a pro card.  However he was later awarded a pro card, probably due to the international judging panel for the pro show who stepped in. I believe several officials lobbied for Jamo to receive his card and thankfully they gave it to him, which allowed him to compete. He was a very good, and deserving addition to the pro show.

 1999 represents the last year of the old guard. What I mean by that is that the incredible talent of the 90’s generation of pro’s was coming to end. This is perhaps the best contest to see many of these great athletes looking so good. Milos Scarcev, Kevin Levrone, Flex Wheeler (at his near all time best), Nasser El Sonbaty (showing signs of fading but still impressive),  Dexter Jackson (an emerging superstar), Markus Ruhl (not as massive as he is today but incredibly ripped). But the quality doesn’t stop there. There are many athletes from England who represented themselves and their country extremely well. John Hodgson, Peter Brown, and some note worth others all came in ripped. You will enjoy seeing these little know athletes posing their ripped physiques. But lets not forget Ronnie Coleman. Some argue his best shape was in 1998, or even the 2001 Arnold. In my opinion his best was seen in this show. Ronnie weighed close to 260 and was every bit ripped and shredded as in 1998, with a flat stomach, NO DISTENSION. He looked awesome.

 On another note, the pre-judging footage is incredible. Many felt, at the 1999 Mr Olympia, that Flex Wheeler gave Ronnie a run for his money. If you watch this video, and see the up close, side by side comparisons, you’ll see how much bigger, and more ripped Ronnie was that year. He just blows away the other guys. This was Ronnie’s first ever English Grand Prix victory.
 The posing routines were well done too. I especially liked it when Dexter’s music malfunctioned but Dorian and the crowd urged him on anyway.

 This was one of the first 2 videos I purchased from GMV, and let me say I have been a loyal customer ever since. Their contest videos give you so much more then the average footage you see on pay per view or ESPN.  Prejudging footage and guest posing sections. Sometimes the Olympia videos do not show the athletes at their very best, and the footage sometimes is filmed from too far away or from poor side angles. GMV’s Grand Prix videos give you an up close view of the action that is much more enjoyable to watch.. I personally have all the Olympia videos, and actually prefer watching the GMV Grand Prix tapes due to better production value. Wayne has the eye and understanding of what the fans want to always give us the best possible angle.

 I highly recommend this DVD, you’ll be sure to enjoy it!

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