Radio DVD Review

I really wasn't expecting much from Radio. While I've enjoyed movies like "Remember the Titans" in the past, Radio seemed like another rehash, the typical Hollywood sports movie. It's not. In fact, it's one of the best movies released in the past year. The DVD is quite dissapointing, but the movie itself more than makes up for any issues with the disc. Based on a true story, Radio centers around the story of Robert Kennendy, known as "Radio" throughout the film. As the mentally challenged boy walks past a local high school football teams practice day after day pushing his shopping cart, a few of the players tie him up and toss him into a shed. Their coach, played by Ed Harris, infuriated by his players actions, takes the boy under his wing and the events that follow warranted a story by Sports Illustrated. Yes, it does have the usual array of up and downs, but the focus is always on Radio himself. There are very few characters in the story and their lives may be touched upon, but they never actually become a focus of the story. Sure there's alot of football in the movie, but even then Radio is the focus. Better yet, the team that Radio becomes a part of never actually wins anything like so many other cliche' sports films. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays the role of Radio believably, but you have to question his age. Getting close to 40 years old, it's hard to place him into the role of a teenager. Presented in it's original widescreen ratio, Radio won't win any awards for it's video quality. it's not a bad print by any means, but the majority of the scenes are hampered by heavy grain that gets seriously annoying, especially in a very serious sequence involving Ed Harris and his daughter late in the movie. The sound is also a bit of a downer, never really kicking in full force when it should. Granted, most of the movie is dialouge driven, but the football sequences are a major dissapointment. Special features are also unimpressive with NOTHING about the man the entire true story is based on. There's a nice little feature on the insnanity of the football sequences featured in the film, 6 deleted scenes (a few of the deletions are questionable), a 10 minute look at how the story was fleshed out for the screen, and the usual 21-minute "making of." The director also is featured on a commentary track, but how can so little credit be given to the man who inspired the film in the first place? The movie itself gives us a glimpse of the real Robert "Radio" Kennedy (still a member of the team after all these years) during it's credit sequence, so why not the disc? Excluding the weak array of features, Radio is one of those movies that's SO good, every conversation you start for the next month will have a mention of this movie in it. If the person your speaking to hasn't seen it, you'll tell them too. One can only hope for a nice special edition double-dip in the near future.

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