Rad (1986) Poster

(1986)

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Not just nostalgia
zhoyt10 May 2003
Before the huge X-Games explosion of the late 90s, there was another place where extreme sports thrived; The 80s. Like any fad, there were numerous exploitation movies based on it. Thrashin was the cream of the crop to focus on skateboarding, but when it came to BMX there was a real debate. Was it BMX Bandits or Rad? In my mind, there has never been a doubt. While BMX Bandits is pretty good, it can't even come close to Rad. Likely both films spawned hardcore punk bands named after the movies, and Rad the band is far superior to BMX Bandits. (Although really neither are that great) So what makes Rad so good? To start, the star power: a pre-Full House Lori Laughlin is the love interest of our hero Cru, Talia `stop calling me Adrian' Shire has a great turn as Cru's mom, and veteran character actor Ray Walston is hilarious as a crankity old bike shop owner (`The world would be a lot better off without kids'). The movie also has one of my favorite scummy villains of the 80s, Jack Weston of Dirty Dancing, Short Circuit 2, and Can't Stop the Music (the fictionalized Village People biopic). With a cast this great you know you're in for a treat. The next key ingredient of Rad is the stunts. Instead of hiring BMX stuntmen and only using them for stunts, Rad gives them roles, playing themselves. It is set around a fictional BMX race called `Hell Track' and it draws some of the best riders from around the world. It is always a special treat seeing some of my favorite riders of yore on the screen along with Cru. It gives the movie an authentic feeling. It also has spectacular stunt scenes in the opening credits where they just let the riders do there thing and they really show off their skills which are highlighted by interesting angles and slow motion. Another great thing about Rad is the soundtrack. It's the typical eighties teen targeting soundtrack full of various genres aimed to get kids attention; rock, dance, new wave, even some ballads. They all work though and you'll be humming the tunes long after the movie has stopped. The hit `Send Me An Angel' (which was later used to great effect in the Fred Savage vehicle / Nintendo commercial The Wizard) is especially great and has found its way onto mix tapes of mine ever since the I first bought the soundtrack in 87 with it's catchy, haunting synth line. All in all, Rad is more than just a fun trip down nostalgia lane. Even if you haven't grown up in the 80's or gotten caught up in the BMX craze, it is still a lot of fun. And besides, what other movie do you get to see Ray Walston give the middle finger with such conviction?
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9/10
B-grade BMX flick set in a stereotypical 1980s high school, has attained an odd cult status.
MBCD8 December 2005
It's your basic "High-school dork beats bully & gets girl using his worthless social-outcast skill that everyone in this little universe is oddly obsessed with" (happens all the time in the 80's). Nothing particularly original or interesting about it, but for some reason it withstands repeated viewings and still seems like fun. It's one of those movies that unintentionally became a cult flick just by being so straightforward.

The plot, the acting, the characters, the one-liners . . . everything about the production is reasonably serviceable for the era, but certainly not GOOD either. The whole thing feels sorta like a cheesy 80's sitcom doing its big 2-hour episode for sweeps week, and the network gave it some money for a real location shoot & some extra cuss words.

The bicycle stuntwork in "Rad" is stellar. Yes, of course it's outdated now, and modern X-games riders like Dave Mirra can demonstrate a lot more technical skill on multi-directional spins & stuff, but ultimately that's beside the point. In real life the average 13-year-old spends weeks teaching himself to do a decent bunny hop. And for that 13-year-old, it's plenty of fun watching a character in "Rad" just trying to learn an (outdated) backflip move in the schoolyard using a hockey helmet & some old bed mattresses. (Think: "Jackass" but not so intentional. And it's too bad this movie was made before the era of "goof reels" during the end credits, because they probably got some real whoppers on film during this production.)

I can quote every line of this movie, but I still can't put my finger on what aspect of it makes it hold up so well. It's got that same sort of odd quality that a "Duck Tales" or a "Saved by the Bell" episode has: You can't explain why on earth you're still watching & enjoying it as an intelligent adult . . . but you are. (And so is everyone else you've shown it to.) Either way you'd better get your insider-status and enjoy this movie now. Next thing we know they might put it on T-shirts at Sam Goody & take all the fun out of it.
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10/10
More points about this movie
jaws!29 January 2000
I love this movie. As i said in the other comment i first

saw Rad back in 1986 or 1987. There's just something about this movie. To be honest this movie doesn't seem that dated to me, because i've been watching Rad ever since

1986 or 1987. there was never a huge gap between that time. This movie just has some magic to it. Ok so its a

little low on plot, the acting maybe isn't that great, and maybe it is predictable, but you know what? Who cares!. This movie is entertaining from beginning to end, it never lets up for a second. The music is great too, I love Break The Ice, thunder in your heart, send me an angel,

and the other cool songs. Rad is loaded with cool bike

tricks, great racing scenes and it's very inspiring. The

person on here that said they don't make movies like this

anymore is right, Rad just contains a sort of magic movies don't have nowadays. I've had the same worn out tape of this movie for about 10 or more years now, I can't get

enough of it. I wish there'd be a sequel to Rad. I know it wouldn't be as good as the original, but i'd still like to what Cru, luke and the others are up to now. Rad is in the top 3 of my favorite movies of all time. I also think I have watched Rad more times than any other movie in history. It's just got a lot of re-watchable value to it.

Once again I love this movie and always will. I give Rad

**** out of ****
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Nostalgia
mentalsjuk22 October 2004
Like so many other kids my age (being 22 now) I saw this one and I also got my first BMX shortly after that! I have been looking everywhere for this one, but just couldn't find it until recently when I imported it from USA in a DVD-edition - however, it looks like an illegal copy since the cover had been copied (in color, though) and the picture on the disc was a sticker, the sound was really low (maybe it had something to do with the fact that it had been converted directly to DVD from VHS?), it had no extra-material and the menu looked like someone had done it on a PC and then burned it... Anyway, the film was just as Rad as I remembered it from my young days! All the classic scenes like the paper boy, motorcycle cop chase, BMX-dance and the Hell Track race were there and together with the (almost cheesy) 1980's-soundtrack they sent shivers down my spine. So if you haven't seen this one, then see it - if you HAVE seen it, then see it again! Money well spent I can assure you.
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3/10
Bad, Not Rad
joncheskin7 February 2018
I became interested in this movie because I was curious about movies that had a large discrepancy between the Critics and Audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Rad actually is the record-holder--84% of the audience liked the movie, but a whopping 0% of the critics. I was fascinated by what kind of movie could provoke this reaction--a very loyal fanbase and unanimous critical disapproval. It turned out that there were only 5 critics' reviews, so that was part of the reason. But the main issue was that this is simply a likable bad movie.

Rad is actually a sports movie--BMX bike racing. The BMX circuit comes to a small town, and a local boy is very talented and dreams of winning the race. He meets a girl from the touring company and there is a romance (surprise) and he does battle with the evil favorite Rocky style. Talia Shire, who was Rocky's wife, plays the kid's mom and does the same sort of nervous mugging for the camera. Bart Conner, the Olympic gymnast, plays the villain in his first movie role. Bill Allen and Lori Loughlin from Family Ties play the hero and his love interest.

Now, already, you can see the makings of a train wreck (or bike wreck?), but the fact of the matter is that the movie does a decent job of doing exactly what you would expect. Also, the BMX stunts are terrific, and some of the gags are pretty funny. It is easy to see how this movie could become a cult film (which it has) with rabidly loyal followers. Nonetheless, it really is pretty silly, so if you're into this sort of thing, great. Personally I think three stars is about right.
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RAD - Really Awful Drivel
Wizard-812 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I feel that I should first of all reveal that I was a teenager (the target audience) when this movie was first released, but even as a youth the movie struck me as being something stupid. In the years that followed, I kept hearing over and over positive remarks about the movie from people like me who grew up in the '80s. So when I stumbled upon a copy of this movie at a thrift store recently, I thought I would finally give it a chance. Let's just say that when it came to this movie, my younger self was a lot smarter. First of all, the central plot is completely unoriginal - it's the standard underdog struggling against sabotage and other challenges to prove himself story, complete with characters you've also seen before (the spunky kid sister, the disapproving parent who eventually changes her opinion, etc.) What is worse is that this particular telling is especially slow, even though the movie was clearly cut down in the editing room to try and speed things up (which does lead to some unclear details.) But what about the BMX stuff, you may be asking. Well, while there are a handful of (mildly) impressive stunts here and there, I actually found most of the BMX stuff boring, despite the movie being filmed by a former stuntman. BMX doesn't have the speed of motorcycle racing, nor does it have the especially dangerous aspect of skateboarding. It's flat stuff, even in the so- called "Helltrack" climax. It's no wonder the distributor of this movie only gave it a limited theatrical release, and probably also explains why the current rights holders of the movie have not given the movie a DVD or Blu-ray release.
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Where were the oscar nominations for this??
Roguex99917 April 2003
RAD....wow....17 years after it originally came out and it still remains one of the best films, most definitive films of a generation. Who will ever forget the stellar acting of Bill Allen, the luscious Lori Laughlin (speaking of oscars, where was hers for Casper 2? Huh?), and the amazing Bart Conner as THE Bart Taylor. Sure, a few elements might be a tad dated (They wouldn't call it Helltrack after 9/11, no siree bob!), but it still is just as good as the day it came out. A friend of mine were having a debate on which 80s film would stand the test of time...this or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Time will tell on that one.
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10/10
watch this RAD movie online
isaacmullis21 March 2005
This is one the best movies i have not been able to buy or even find. I have been trying my local mom and pop video stores for years to find this movie. Unfortunately Blockbuster wiped most of them out before i could persuade them to sell me one of favorite movies of all time. Anyway i found this site (WWW.BMXBMX.COM)that had it to download. The download was almost instantaneous. Regrettably it only comes in 7 parts but thats a small inconvenience to finally see the movie i loved since i was 10. I hope they put this on DVD one day i've signed the petition you should too. If some one knows where to find this movie good shape i would love to buy it.
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10/10
i believe in heavenly vows...
blacckbox31 March 2002
a triumph of cinematography that has yet to be surpassed.

two gripes: no sequel, and no sequel to That sequel.

am currently saving my dimes for computer powerful enough to rip from video to dvd. helltrack will be digitalized yet!

a perplexing and damningly persistent question of mine over the years is: why would mongoose allow themselves to be cast as the evil corporate sponsor aiming to bury the competition at all costs? as a direct result of this fictional portrayal, my friends and i pretty much banished mongoose to the lower rungs of bemexdom to stand alongside such pariahs as diamondback and huffy, while holding gt(and their corresponding sister companies, auburn, robinson, etc.) as well as the smaller independent manufacturers, ie. bully, standard, elf in much higher esteem. oh well, i guess they figured any press was good press.

fools.
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10/10
Everyone has guilty pleasures, this is totally one of mine!!!
vagrantfilms27 June 2002
You know, this movie on so many levels is probably not a 10, but I gave it one anyway, because since I first saw it in theatres, to now when I've probably seen it about 100+ times, I still am totally engaged and entertained by it. And to this day i still dream about finding my own special someone to go ass sliding with (don't ask , just see the movie). Plus any movie that has Ray Walston(My Favorite Martian) riding a BMX bike and flipping the Bird, is allright by me!!!
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7/10
Cheesy, but entertaining, not to mention a great soundtrack!
themoviebuff7116 December 2002
This movie is a cult favorite among anyone who spent their summers riding their bikes or skateboards, and featured a killer soundtrack, not to mention a respectable cast considering the obviously low-budget. Very hard to find on VHS and not likely to warrant a DVD release this is a seldom seen piece of 80's movie history. Whatever anyone else might say I liked this film and anyone I have talked to that remembered it liked it too.
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1/10
Blinded by the bike...
Todorojo-126 June 2005
This movie is so sloppy, it needs to wipe. It seems to me that every comment submitted for this movie was written from the perspective of a jilted boyfriend with no self esteem. "Sure, she treated me like dirt, used me for the meager earnings I made at the Food Mart and left me for my step dad, but I love her." This movie is terrible. It should be described as The Karate Kid lite on BMX bikes. The direction is sloppy and the acting as shallow as the kiddie pool full of schmucks that try oh so poorly to defend it without a shred of objectivity. Anyone who makes it through this heap of hooey more than once, much less bought a copy has signed their own indictment for bad taste. The scene with female lead riding into the dreamy dance sequence while doing those crazy bike tricks is the worst body double since the stand-in for Jennifer Beals in "Flashdance." But at least the Beals stand-in was female. The biker in this groaner of a sequence is clearly a guy in a wig. This alone condemns this film to the C bin. If you want to see some terrific BMX riding without the myriad of pap that this movie doles out with such artless abandon, I suggest a trip to the documentary aisle.
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10/10
Cru Jones for President
kevin_kruz20 September 2005
this movie is a popular "underground" hit much like the sport of freestyle itself was in the 80's (pre X-Games popularity). it practically has a cult following which is why it's so amazing that none of the big money-grubbing production companies don't release this to their advantage. or maybe they're doing the whole E.T./Disney movie limited-release strategy but i doubt it.

if they ever do release it on DVD it would be cool to add a bunch of special features. ya know, like behind the scenes footage, soundtrack/music video info, what-the-heck-were-they thinking interviews, that sort of stuff. any other ideas?

by the way, those who didn't grow up with this movie probably won't "get it"...there's plenty of cheesy lines & scenes (for ex. Bart Taylor's honeys hit on Cru & he dorks out saying "I gotta see this guy"!) but that didn't stop us from popping it in the VCR EVERYDAY before going out to ride our Hutch,Haro,Redline and GT's!!!
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5/10
A cheesy 80s movie that is overrated by 80s fans
Jiggyray12 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is hard to get a hold of and is highly praised by 80s movie fans. I got a hold of the movie expected a masterpiece and got a lemon! This movie is totally cheesy, and not cheesy in a cool "The Goonies" sort of way. Bill Allen is a boring emotionless lead. His kid sister is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard. Lori Loughlin as Allen's love interest is just as bland, I truely recommend "Secret Admirer" if you want to see the Full House star in a much better role and movie. To put it quite simply: this movie is a "The Karate Kid" want-to-be (which is my favorite movie) that doesn't come close! SPOILER ALERT ON: another underdog fighting a more popular/arrogant/wealthy enemy at a sport to later beat him and steal his woman :SPOILER ALERT OFF It truely does not have the emotion, heart, and strength of cast as "The Karate Kid". Also, what is up with the kid going off the course to catch up with the pack, doesn't that make our hero a cheater? Also the bad guy waiting for our hero to catch up in the last race was lame and made the outcome feel cheap.

A much hyped 80s cult hit that was a total letdown for me, rent/buy the easier to obtain "The Karate Kid" instead, 5 out of 10
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1/10
Wow
michaellinsenman6 August 2018
So, I don't understand why this film has so many high reviews. I don't understand how it became a "cult" film like the room, because this movie is just bad. Not amusing to watch bad, just bad. It's disjointedness and horrible acting lead it to be one of the worst movies I have EVER watched. Thank you, hosts of "How Did This Get Made", thank you.
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10/10
Rad is a movie that is partially responsible for recent BMX popularity.
feebleminded8021 March 2005
I know to a lot of people out there this movie is boring, cheesy, and makes almost no sense at all. However, there are a few facts that need to be stated that may shed some light on the film. First, when Rad came out in theaters (yes, you heard right, theaters), BMX was at the most popular point of its short history. The sport was literally everywhere. Next, professional BMX racers from this era were actually used in the stunts, and, more importantly, in the helltrack race. Lastly, a man named Yose Yanez did the back flip stunts in this movie. This may seem insignificant, but at the time he was the only person on our planet who had done this. Looking back, this is especially amusing to me, since I have several friends who perform this feat on a daily basis. My point is, if nothing else, Rad helped BMX by making kids out there wonder just what was possible on these 20" bicycles.

Having said all of that, yes, Rad is a cheesy film of B-Movie quality, has an unlikely plot, and will likely never be of any value to someone outside the world of BMX. But for those of us who are, this movie is bigger than a plot or good writing. In fact, Rad is the whole reason I started riding bikes nine years ago. Trust me I'm not alone when I say that. Maybe ESPN should be paying royalties to the director...
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1/10
Obviously A young Dude That Never Tried Anything First.
razmoose4421 June 2012
How old were you when the movie came out? Rich or Poor? Do You Know How To ride A Bike? Do You Know How To Ride Anything? Absolute Useless Review On The Movie For Someone Who Rides Looking For Something Cool To Watch. Non The Less A Little Tap On The Rear For People That Are Really Doing Anything While They Are Alive. Unlike You! Putting Them Down For Doing It. Get A Real Job.Don't Be Afraid To Fail Little Fellah. Don't Be Afraid To Stump Your Toe. Your Poppy Still Loves You And If You Met Dave Mirra He Would't Like You But Thats OK. Your Not The King And Neither Am I. England Has A King. We Live In The U.S. Do You Think People Really Want To Read What You Have To Say???? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! So Say Something Good About A Good Wholesome Movie! Maybe Our Kids Will Want To "ASS SLIDE" Rather Than Shoot Heroin And People! Buy A Bike!
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10/10
Nostalgia time
billybrown411 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
There's no telling how many times I watched this movie as a kid and I still watch it at least once a month. Back in the day, I'd get bored, pop this one in the vcr, and then go outside and try to court death by bicycle, in attempt to imitate the insane tricks that I'd just watched in this movie. I wanted TO BE Bart Taylor (yes, I know that we were supposed to be rooting for Cru Jones) and I forget how many scrapes, gashes, and bruises I got from my Haro. In one of many failed attempts, I even tried to rig my backyard into my own makeshift "hell track". I'd even hum my own soundtrack (gotta love that "break the ice" and "thunder in your heart") and even though this lead to a lot of pain (and embarrassment), I'd keep trying.

Well, needless to say, the 80s are gone and I never became a professional BMXer..but I still have this movie. If you've never seen it, well, it probably won't do much for you now. It's one of those that if you didn't embrace it when you were young (anybody with me on that?), you won't get much out of it, aside from a little unintentional comedy, okay LOADS of unintentional comedy. But the story all centers around the local paperboy/bmx badboy, Cru Jones. He's not all that likable and he's pretty obnoxious to boot, but he gets wind that Hell Track is coming to his little podunk town and the grand prize is $100,000. He wants to race real bad, but the problem is, the big race falls on the same day that he has to take his SATS and his momma won't let him race. Bummer. So now, Cru has to step up and be a man and make his first big decision in life. What's a young man to do? I'm tired of writing....I hear my Haro calling my name...
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Rad is...BAD and I don't mean "bad" in a good way.
PWT2012 October 2004
When I brought up acquiring "Gleaming The Cube" (1989) on DVD to friends, they mentioned the film "Rad". Upon recent viewing of "Rad", it pales in comparison to "Gleaming...", staring Christian Slater. The only similarity both films share is that the main theme circles around extreme sports, respectively BMX and skateboarding.

The plot, characters, and script are all totally lackluster. For example, it is never explained WHY "Helltrack" has to take place in this small hick town. (Unless something happened while I was playing Spider Solitaire!) And there is no sympathy for "Cru" to take his SATs, is he even in school?

"Rad" just sucks. So unless you have the time to 1) hunt this film down, 2) wanna watch a man in a wig, stunt-doubling for Lori Loughlin, &/or 3) want to see just how people can "dance" while on BMX bikes, DON'T DO IT!

And what's this with it being released on DVD? Why-oh-why?
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Worse than squeeze bottle cheese.
vertigo_1421 April 2004
A chicken wing joke I'd call this movie. The kind of jokes with punchlines told, laughter absent, and a giant chicken wing flap at the corniness of the effort. That's what Rad is to me. Hopeless chicken wing jokes everywhere. The story, the acting, even the action.

Rad is, like so many damn movies before it, about a kid (Bill Allen) who's gotta compete in a bmx race that's pretty important to him, except his rivals are pretty tough. The race: Helltrack. Being that I don't ride, I can only guess that the track is either laughable or it's worse than it's actually made out to be. Don't nothing else matter to Cru Jones, as his mother constantly nags him about showing up for SATs, but the boy doesn't want to do anything that'll interfere with his love for the sport or his intent on winning the competition. Also, like so many damn movies before it, Cru Jones, a wiener bike rider, is like an amateur racing with the pros. In real life, he'd eat dirt, but in movies, well...in movies you can do anything, right? Just look at the Skateboard Kid series or North Shore.

Of course, what is an athletic movie without a romantic sideshow? As Cru Jones falls for his riding partner, Christian (Louglin). They're into racing and being with each other so much, they even use their bikes during the school dance to stage a few tricks (too bad their stunt doubles didn't look quite right).

Certainly, there could have been more dignified ways to represent the sport of BMX biking right? If there is, it surely isn't Rad (no pun intended).
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4/10
It's a man, baby
campblood1325 August 2003
When Lori Loughlin's character is following her new boyfriend doing all kinds of jumps, that is not her. It's a man with a wig, lol. Anyway, this movie has a decent story. They have a dance at the beginning and these BMX stars are dancing with this trashy girl, but they dance like crap. Then Cru and Christian break out with bike dancing? This movie was funny. A good movie for young teenagers. What's with the 58% of voters giving this a 10. I guess only the fans of it remember it. 4/10 Fair
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Ummm... yeah, it's terrible.
t_brown_1721 November 2000
The other night, some of us guys were talking about what is the definitive youth movie of the 1980's. KARATE KID was mentioned. DIRTY DANCING and FOOTLOOSE were uttered as well. And all those frat house/youth oriented comedies like PORKY's were also spoke of. Amidst the haze of movie titles came a shout out of for RAD. That's when social hour came to an end. We dragged the unidentified boy out back and beat him until he nearly died. Needless to say, RAD is not held in high regards in this particular circle. And for good reason too: The movie sucks. Bad.
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6/10
Influences
eclip5e25 April 2007
One of the paradigms of 1980s movies, I saw it when I was around 7 or 8 years old. This movie influenced me to become the man I am today, a professional bmx biker, sponsored by Mongoose.

Shortly after seeing this film, I traded my banana cruiser in for a sweet new bmx . From that point on, I was terrorizing my neighbors with my rude paper route delivery antics. I had my route so well planned and executed that I too could ride a garbage trucks front-end loader over a fence.

It took a few years, but at the 1997 X Games, I was approached by the then-head of the Mongoose racing team about potential sponsorship. When asked "Who do you race for?" I used the words of Cru, I took of my sunglasses, looked him in the eyes and said "I race for me". He knew I meant business, and signed me for a 5 year contract right there, handing me 5 million dollars in cash, on the spot.
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10/10
The best movie ever
otbli10 August 2005
I first saw this movie when i was about 6 years old ever since then it has been my favorite movie. this movie not only teaches us that we should follow our hearts and dreams but also teaches that no matter how much you doubt yourself there are always others(friends) that are backing you. The music is awesome my favorite song is SEND ME AN ANGEL by real life which was also featured in the movies the wizard(1989) and teen wolf too. Hal Needham did a wonderful job making this movie. I only hope and pray that they put rad on DVD and it has special features like maybe a reunion like in the movie thrashin, music videos, behind the scenes, etc...I can't comment enough that i love this movie and that everyone who likes BMX or family movies should watch it. I give this movie a 10+++++ and the music a 10++++.
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8/10
Bring it to DVD!!!
mdoher21 July 2005
I grew up with this movie. It came out right when I learned how to ride a bike, and not only entertained me, but gave the typical sports story of "overcoming insurmountable odds" and "persistence will win". Fifteen years ago, I watched this movie twice per day... My mom tells me (I was five then) that she had to buy 4 copies or so because the tape on each of them became pretty damaged from the constant use. Now, it's very rare to find new, let alone used.

RAD, if re-released, has the potential to sell many copies, as the BMX fad is back... It certainly dates itself, with the new-wave hairdos and outfits, but deserves a chance in the information age. If I knew where to begin to petition, I'd try my best to persuade somebody to have this movie digitally remastered and into DVD players everywhere.

Lori Laughlin- I know you're out there... maybe not reading this, but use some of your Full House money and get this thing on DVD!!! America DESERVES to love this movie!
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