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2008 Arnold Classic DVD Review
by John Hansen

 The Arnold Classic has become the premier Bodybuilding event of the year. Since it’s inception in 1989, The Arnold Classic has set new standards in entertainment, stage production and outstanding competition from the top professional bodybuilders in the world. The presence and celebrity of the contest namesake, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, only adds to the atmosphere and excitement of the event.

 In 2008, the Arnold Classic celebrated its 20th Anniversary. In addition to an intense competition among the best professional bodybuilders in the sport, this year’s event featured a few extra surprises. One of the highlights was the appearance of all the previous Arnold Classic champions on stage. From 1989 winner Rich Gaspari to current champions Victor Martinez and Dexter Jackson, it was great to see all these legends take the stage at the same time as they stood next to life-size cardboard pictures of themselves when they won the contest.

 Thanks to the efforts of Wayne Gallasch, veteran videographer of all the bodybuilding greats from Arnold Schwarzenegger to today’s top champs, this year’s Arnold Classic has been recorded on two high quality DVD’s and is now available. “2008 Arnold Classic – Prejudging & Finals” contains an astounding 237 minutes (107 minutes from the prejudging and 130 minutes from the finals) of footage so you can watch all the action that took place onstage and backstage.

 Disc 1 contains all the comparisons and mandatory poses from the prejudging. All 15 professional bodybuilders are filmed in order of their appearance. After each competitor is viewed individually, we are allowed to see each one of the group comparisons as ordered by the judges. This part of the DVD reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each bodybuilder and the cameras give us an up close viewpoint of the top professional bodybuilders in the world.

 In addition to each minute of the prejudging, Disc 1 also contains some extra highlights. The most exciting of these ‘extras” is footage from the Pump Room where all the top competitors pump up and get ready before stepping onstage. In addition to the footage from the Pump Room, Wayne also has a Photo Gallery from the pre-judging and interviews with Master of Ceremonies Clint Richard and Hollywood Yates.

 Disc 2 features ALL the excitement that took place at the Arnold Classic Finals. If you’ve never seen the Arnold Classic in person, you are missing the best-produced show in bodybuilding. From the incredible stage design to the best professional bodybuilders in the world to the extraordinary featured acts to the annual speech by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is no other event that is as special as the Arnold Classic. Thanks to the producing efforts of Jim Lorimer and Arnold, this event is the premier competition of this year and every year.

 You will get to see the full posing routines of each professional bodybuilder featured in the 2008 Arnold Classic. Wayne Gallasch employed four cameras situated in various vantage points of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium to get the best view of each competitor. With Wayne’s extensive experience filming bodybuilders and bodybuilding competitions, the DVD is seamlessly edited to show each bodybuilder to their best advantage.

 After each competitor has displayed their physique for the judges and audience, MC Lonnie Teper (the best in the business) announces the awards for Best Poser and Most Muscular. It’s no surprise to see Marvelous Melvin Anthony take home the Best Poser award. His exciting routine is one of the highlights of the contest. It’s also not a shock when mass monster Branch Warren wins the Most Muscular award (his second at the Arnold Classic).
 The contest concludes with the exciting posedown of the top six competitors. The top four in particular, Dexter Jackson, Phil Heath, Kai Greene and Branch Warren, were all in the best shape of their lives and the audience shows their appreciation during the raucous posedown.

 After the announcement of the final placings, Arnold Schwarzenegger presents Dexter Jackson with the overall Arnold Classic trophy and the first place check. His interview with Dexter is as entertaining as ever.

 As he did with Disc 1, Wayne presents a collection of Extras on Disc 2. This includes a moving tribute to legendary bodybuilder Reg Park, who passed away last November. Reg was Arnold’s idol and a very dear friend so his heartfelt speech reflected his sadness and loss.

 Also included in the Extras on Disc 2 is Arnold’s presentation of the Life Time Achievement Award to former IFBB president Ben Weider. The presentation was preceded by a video that highlighted the remarkable life and achievements of Ben Weider as he traveled the world to build the IFBB into the biggest bodybuilding organization in the world.

 One of the most impressive acts featured on the Arnold Classic stage are the incredible Alexis Brothers. Their exciting hand balancing and strength act always brings the audience to their feet in a standing ovation. It was only fitting that the Alexis Brothers returned to the Arnold Classic for the 20th Anniversary and their performance earned them another enthusiastic standing ovation. You have to see this to believe it!
 If you want to experience the Arnold Classic in its exciting entirety, get your hands on the “2008 Arnold Classic – Prejudging and Finals”. This two disc set will allow you to witness the Arnold Classic as if you were in the front row. You won’t see a better contest all year!

2008 Arnold Classic - 2 Disc Set : Prejudging & Finals (Dual price US$39.95 or A$55.95)

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