"Without a Paddle" Blu-ray Review
May 21, 2009 by Zach Demeter
From the man who brought you such fantastic films as Black Sheep, Joe Dirt, and Strange Wilderness is…Without a Paddled! Yes, somehow this man continues to make films and somehow people continue to go see them. Thankfully his last effort (Strange Wilderness) was a pretty massive failure so we might not have to see him around too much anymore, but when films like Without a Paddle actually result in DTV sequels…it’s just too much, really. Stupid low-budget films making nearly four times their budget back in box office receipts alone.
Three childhood friends go into the Oregon wilderness in search of lost treasure. They take a canoe upriver and everything that can go wrong, does. Hunted by two backwoods farmers, they encounter death-defying rapids, tree-hugging hippie chicks and a crazy old mountain man played by Burt Reynolds.
I may have been a bit harsh in that intro, but man…it was warranted, I tell you. I genuinely dislike Fred Wolf with great passion or the crap he continues to write. Granted I did chuckle once or twice with this film, but the laughs were few and far between. Hell, it makes use of simple pot, poop, penis, and virgin jokes and I still found it to be a tired old pot of rehashed fodder that isn’t funny. Kudos to Paramount for making such a film, as it means that I can waste time watching it.
I truly do enjoy Seth Green’s works and had hoped he’d bring something to this film but…alas, no dice. Actually all three of the leading men are rather humorous to me in their own right but when paired up here…it just didn’t work. It was like City Slickers without the funny and the spontaneous people they meet in the woods just got to be a bit much. If there were giant fields of weed and hippie girls willing to have sex with you, I think more people would go searching for hidden treasure.
I will say that the various 80s references were humorous, mainly just because I’m a fan of Star Wars (which got plenty of mileage throughout the film), but honestly…I feel like this is a sketch from Robot Chicken extended into movie form. In fact, I’m a couple seasons behind on that show so that’s’ entirely possible now, considering Green’s involvement (and pretty sure the other two guys in the film have popped up on there as voices as well).
I can’t even really begin to go on about the plot, as it involves stupid jokes about bears thinking humans are cubs and…I really just can’t go on any further. This movie is stupid and while I appreciate the actors in it, I just really don’t appreciate the writing of it. It’s old hat and may be funny to the PG-13 audience this movie is geared towards, but I like my comedies that contain poop jokes to have a little bit more usefulness going for it.
Overall Skip this movie. I’m sure the sequel that came out is just terrific, however.
Holy Crap! How did this get Blu-ray treatment? Seriously Paramount, what’s up with this latest crop of catalog releases? I love how you treat the format (that’s not a joke, I honestly do; you have some superb releases out there), but really? Without a Paddle? Why? Did the DVD really make that much for you? Do you honestly expect to make much from this plain’ ol release, clad in a standard Elite Blu-ray case, grey disc art and the usual firmware upgrade notice flyer? It boggles the mind!
At least the AVC encoded transfer is solid enough, with the outdoor visuals popping off the screen. If nothing else it’s a solid piece of film work for the woods and streams you see, but you can see that with more maturity and less poop on Discovery Channel, so that choice is up to you. The included TrueHD 5.1 mix is also a bit superfluous as the few moments that it actually uses surrounds just isn’t worthwhile. Some LFE output via the bear and other sound effects, but for the most part this “comedy” is limited to the front channels.
Extras are the same as the previous release and include:
• Commentary: Commentary by Director Steven Brill
• Commentary: Video Commentary By The Cast and Director
• Featurette: MTV's Making the Movie: Without A Paddle
• 13 Extended/Deleted Scenes
• Camping Inferno
• Thoughts Vegas
• Slurpee Brain Freeze
• Easter Eggs:
Sleeping Bag 2 Girls
High, Drug Run 2, Press Conference
• Theatrical Trailer
Two commentaries? Thirteen deleted scenes? Easter Eggs? How does such a bad movie get such good treatment? The mind boggles…
Overall if you own the DVD, Skip It. If you don’t own the DVD, Skip It. Simple, eh?
Without a Paddle arrives on Blu-ray on May 12th.