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Without a Paddle

Without a Paddle on DVD

Most of us have, at one time or another, found ourselves in a situation in which we weren’t as prepared for a situation as we should have been.

In Without a Paddle, three friends find themselves in the wilderness and on the trail of a treasure worth $200,000. Everything seems simple enough: they have supplies, and they have the map. What they don’t count on is the subsequent events.

First, a bear’s maternal instincts get the better of Dan (Seth Green); then they run into some trigger happy pot farmers; then they get sorta rescued by some “all-natural” beautiful hippie chicks; and have a run-in with a creepy mountain man.

Oh, and did we mention that along the way they lose their clothes, their supplies, and yes, even the coveted treasure map? How will they ever get out of this one?

Without a Paddle is, in a nutshell, a bunch of scenes taken from a bunch of other, better movies. We’d bet that there’s not a single thing here you haven’t seen before. And the movie is, surprisingly, not that funny considering that its complete lack of originality would give the writers ample time to work on the jokes.

It isn't completely unfunny, though. There’s one scene in particular that is exceptionally humorous, and involves the three gents using body heat to keep warm. Funny stuff.

It’s unfortunate that Without a Paddle isn’t better. Both Seth Green and Matthew Lillard are good comedic performers, and director Steven Brill is most famous for two Adam Sandler films (Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds). Everyone tries their darndest and we have to give them credit for that, but there’s really just no reason to watch this flick if you’ve ever seen a movie before.

There’s quite a bit of underused talent here, and everything about it is clichéd. It seems the title is not only appropriate for the characters, but for the filmmakers as well.

On DVD, the film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (and, separately, in a Pan&Scan version) and Dolby Digital 5.1. Picture quality is good, with the lush environment being shown in sparkling detail. Color is good and fleshtones are as well, but a few scenes look a little grainy.

Audio is fairly reserved save for the scenes that feature white water, gun shots, or bears. Dialog, score, and sound effects are separated nicely, with a subwoofer that doesn’t really do much at all.

Extras include an audio commentary by director Steven Brill, and an additional video commentary by Brill and the cast. The making-of featurette is the kind you see during primetime TV: pure fluff with nothing really to say. There is a bunch of deleted scenes with optional commentary, trailers, and 6 MTV Interstitials, which are basically just more subtle advertisements.

Without a Paddle, from Paramount Home Entertainment
98 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, Ethan Suplee and Burt Reynolds
Produced by Donald De Line
Screenplay by Jay Leggett & Mitch Rouse, Directed by Steven Brill


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