4.8 24
Director: Mike Tollin

Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard


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Radio is one of those heartwarming, "based on a true story" films that is hard not to like. In many ways, the same can be said about the DVD from Columbia/TriStar, since everything indicates this project was a labor of love. This is never more clear than in the supplements included on this disc, especially in the three featurettes: "Tuning in on Radio," withSee more details below


Radio is one of those heartwarming, "based on a true story" films that is hard not to like. In many ways, the same can be said about the DVD from Columbia/TriStar, since everything indicates this project was a labor of love. This is never more clear than in the supplements included on this disc, especially in the three featurettes: "Tuning in on Radio," with cast and crew interviews, which is far better than most making-of pieces; "Writing Radio," a discussion with screenwriter Mike Rich and others on what went into creating the screenplay; and "The 12-Hour Football Games of Radio," with the highly enthusiastic sports coordinator Mark Ellis. Not to be outdone, director Mike Tollin provides a scene-specific commentary track. Often monotonic and repetitive from the featurettes, he still offers plenty of insight about this production. The remainder of the supplements include six decent deleted scenes, generic filmographies, the original Sports Illustrated article on DVD-ROM, and the trailers for this film, 50 First Dates, Big Fish, Mona Lisa Smile, Something's Gotta Give, Spellbound, and Rudy. As for the picture and sound, they aren't half bad either. The 1.85:1 image is really as good as it gets. Colors are realistic and never flashy, so they don't overshadow the point of the film, and this transfers perfectly to the digital medium. Skin tones are immediately noticeable, as well, and they come across very naturally. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track isn't spectacular, as it's by and large limited to a type of low-key approach, but there is still plenty of depth to the overall sound scheme. The sound levels occasionally aren't blended adequately, though, and the balance between higher and lower volumes creates a problem. Still, even with some minor faults, this is an exceptional package.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Cuba Gooding Jr. is famous for the poor quality of his post-Oscar work, so it was natural to assume that his performance as a mentally handicapped football assistant would be all bug-eyed caricature. It's definitely possible to quibble with some of his facial expressions, but Gooding actually underplays more scenes in Radio than he overplays. That leaves the movie on the whole in the range of B to B+ material. Good for a hankie or two -- with the right audience -- it's mid-level inspirational stuff that's delivered competently, but with little distinction. Radio does earn some credibility by being based on a real person, James Robert Kennedy, and the fact that it doesn't just follow the typical sports movie arc of seeing the team through one memorable season. Director Mike Tollin has been around a ton of sports movies in his day, so it's to his credit that Radio is more about how a special individual -- in the least condescending sense of that word -- impacts a whole town, rather than a specific athletic program. (Radio also walks the sidelines for the boys' basketball team). The central issues are the same as they would be for any group trying to seamlessly integrate someone who's intellectually different -- how to encourage him and give him a place without allowing his suggestible judgment to endanger either himself or others. In the role of Radio's champion and surrogate father, Ed Harris is a bit too saintly to effectively personify this central tension, but he does such likeable work that he's also not worth criticizing. Radio will please a lot of skeptics simply for the fact that it mostly avoids maudlin scenes and emotional manipulation. However, it doesn't rank especially high as either an underdog sports movie or a complex consideration of the mentally disabled.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers

There's no arguing that Cuba Gooding Jr. is trying to do right by the mentally disabled James Robert Kennedy.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

There is no cynicism in Radio, no angle or edge. It's about what it's about, with an open, warm and fond nature. Every once in a while human nature expresses itself in a way we can feel good about, and this is one of those times.
Los Angeles Times - Kevin Thomas
A gentle film yet develops increasing dramatic tension beneath its easygoing, fair-minded surface.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Director's commentary; Deleted scenes; "Tuning in on Radio" featurette; "The 12-hour Football Games of Radio" featurette; "Writing Radio" featurette; "Someone to Lean On: The Story of Radio" DVD-ROM bonus

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cuba Gooding James Robert "Radio" Kennedy
Ed Harris Coach Harold Jones
Alfre Woodard Principal Reynolds
S. Epatha Merkerson Maggie Kennedy
Brent Sexton Honeycutt
Debra Winger Linda Jones
Chris Mulkey Frank
Sarah Drew Mary Helen
Riley Smith Johnny
Patrick Breen Tucker
Therond Justin Adams Laird
Evan Aldrich Danny
Mike Anthony Himself
Tammy Christine Arnold Woman in Stands
Joseph Barrett Autograph Kid
Bert Beatson Hoop Player
Kenneth H. Callender Don
Megan Coffman Melodee
Othello Coleman Hanna Player
Eugene Cryer Pastor Wickland
Mark Robert Ellis Football Referee
Michael Flippo Bus Driver
Charles Garren Clive
James Gooden Teacher
Michael Harding Irv the Cop
Harold W. Jones Himself
James Robert "Radio" Kennedy Himself
Rebecca Koon Waitress
Michael Kroeker Young Cop
William E. Lykes Assistant Coach
Dorothy McDowell Joyce Ann Yearwood
Deborah McTeer Linda's Friend
Jamie Murdaugh Student
Ty O'Farrell Ron Wilborn
Benjamin L. Peters Hallway Kid
Kasheem J. Peterson Football Player
Kate Powell Honeycutt's Squeeze
Shelley Reid Cop #2
Bill Roberson Del
Hi Bedford Roberson School Receptionist
Leonard Wheeler Hoop Referee

Technical Credits
Mike Tollin Director,Producer
Carrie Angland Makeup
Stacye Branche Makeup
Don Burgess Cinematographer
Ryan Crawford Stunts
Tyler Daum Stunts
Andre W. Duncan Set Decoration/Design
Sara Flamm Production Manager
Herbert W. Gains Producer
Todd Garner Executive Producer
Hector Gika Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Greenfield Set Decoration/Design
Clay Griffith Production Designer
James Horner Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Donté R. Hunter Stunts
Vincent Lascoumes Asst. Director
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Cheri Minns Makeup
Thomas Minton Art Director
Patrick B. O'Brien Camera Operator
Rick Pour Makeup
Robert Presley Camera Operator
Simon Rhodes Sound Mixer
Mike Rich Screenwriter
Brian Robbins Producer
Harvey Rosenstock Editor
Julia Starr Sanford Set Decoration/Design
Caitlin Scanlon Executive Producer
Margery Simkin Casting
Tierre Turner Associate Producer
Laura Z. Wasserman Musical Direction/Supervision
Denise Wingate Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:23]
2. Coach Harold James [3:10]
3. James Robert Kennedy [2:19]
4. Terrified [1:59]
5. Principal Daniels [3:18]
6. Punishment of the Nine [2:31]
7. The Yellow Jackets [3:16]
8. The Post-Game Show [2:51]
9. Radio [4:37]
10. The Kennedy Home [1:36]
11. The New Team Mascot [3:28]
12. "Rubberband Man" [1:38]
13. A Little Slower Than Most [2:04]
14. Principal Concern [2:32]
15. Unsportsmanlike Conduct [4:47]
16. A Great Comeback [:06]
17. A Disgruntled Booster [2:57]
18. Mr. Tucker [2:42]
19. Christmas Spirit [6:55]
20. Under Arrest [3:42]
21. The Girls' Locker Room Incident [6:48]
22. A Death in the Family [7:09]
23. Why He's Doing What He's Doing [6:04]
24. The Bottom Line [4:14]
25. Welcome Back, Johnny [3:42]
26. Setting His Priorities Straight [4:09]
27. Graduation Day [8:31]
28. 26 Years Later [5:45]

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