DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Ed Harris, Cuba Gooding Jr, Brent Sexton, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard, Riley Smith, S. Epatha Merkerson
Directed By: Michael Tollin
Studio: Columbia / TriStar
Buy on Amazon.com
At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to see this or not but I like Ed Harris as an actor, and like sports movies so I decided to see Radio after all. I liked the movie and thought it had it’s moments.
The film takes place in the 1970s in South Carolina. Radio is inspired by a true story, and it’s about the relationship between a high school football coach (Ed Harris) and mentally challenged young man named “Radio” (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). Coach Jones notices Radio pushing a shopping cart by football practice each day and he finally takes Radio under his wing. Jones let’s him participate in his football practices, like be waterboy, place kicker and team motivator. Most of the town either think he’s a distraction or have warmed up to him. Coach Jones starts to bring Radio to games and has him stand by his side on the sidelines. Also, The coach starts to pay more attention to Radio than his own family and they don’t know how they feel about that. Eventually, the school and the town debate whether or not to stop having Radio participate in games and attend Coach Jones’ classes.
Radio was like Remember the Titans meets Forrest Gump. Hey, both movies are good so that’s not a bad analogy. The story is rather simple and cliché, but it still works. You have the one kid that doesn’t like Radio, and picks on him. At the end though, he becomes friends with him. You have the one parent that thinks Radio is a distraction because he’s in the way of his star football playing son’s future. Ed Harris does a great job as Coach Jones, and I’ve always liked him as an actor since The Abyss. Everyone always seems to make fun of Cuba Gooding Jr. for his recent acting choices (Well he has had some crappy acting gigs of late) but I thought he did a decent job as Radio, a.k.a. James Kennedy. Ed Harris and Cuba had good chemistry together but I think there should have been more depth with Coach Jones’ family because there wasn’t anything really there. I think that there could of been more sport scenes as well. I liked how the movie ended with scenes with the real life Coach Jones and Radio. That gave the viewers the reality that this was indeed a true story. Though the movie does have some problems, I still thought it was pretty good.
There’s a few extras on the DVD. The first thing I checked out were some deleted scenes. They fleshed out Radio’s character a little more with a few more added scenes (shows him giving more hugs with the townies), and also more scenes with Ed Harris, and Brent Sexton. I thought they should have left in a few of those scenes but oh well. There is a 20 minute plus Making Of featurette that features interviews with the cast and crew, including behind the scenes footage of the real life Jones and Radio. There’s also 2 more featurettes on the writing, and one about the sport coordinator who’s like a drill instructor. He’s filmed a lot of movies with the director, and coordinates the sports scenes tries to make them look as realistic as possible. Other extras include audio commentary with the director, a DVD-ROM featurette but I haven’t checked those out yet though. I thought I wasn’t going to like the movie as much as I did. Sports movie fans will probably enjoy this one.
– Director’s Commentary
– Deleted Scenes
– Tuning in: Making Of Radio
– The 12n-Hour Football Games of Radio
– Writing Radio
– Someone to lean on: The story of Radio
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Rating: Rated PG
Running Time: 109 minutes