Without a Paddle (2004) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Adventure / Comedy
Paramount || PG13 - 98 minutes - $29.99 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-05-28

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

B L U - R A Y

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Steven Brill
Writer(s): Fred Wolf and Harris Goldberg & Tom Nursall (story), Jay Leggett & Mitch Rouse (screenplay)
Cast: Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard

Theatrical Release Date: August 20, 2004

Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Life-long friends Tom (Shepard), Jerry (Lillard), Dan (Green), are suddenly reunited when a close friend of theirs, Billy, dies suddenly. The three reminisce over their childhood and when they found a map left by their deceased friend about the hidden "treasure" of D.B. Copper, they set out on an adventure to Oregon to hopefully track it down. Along the way they encounter a bear who wants Dan to be her cub, crazy pot-growing men with guns (think Deliverance) and two hot female tree-huggers.

Let me make this clear - if you have only seen Without a Paddle 2 please do yourself a favor and check this film out. The "sequel" is in name only - Seth Green is nowhere to be found nor Dax Shepard or Matthew Lillard. Without a Paddle 2 is an abomination and deserves to be fodder for the Wal-mart bargain-bin crowd. With that out of the way letís get on to the actual review.

When this film first hit theaters I figured it would be a pretty lousy film and would eventually check it out on DVD. Browsing Blockbuster some 2 years later, I stumbled upon the film and figured why not use my free coupon and give it a spin (mainly because I just saw Lillard in Wicker Park - an utterly fantastic film). What I found was a pretty decent comedy that still holds up well in 2009. A solid cast with a storyline that is based somewhat on a real treasure (D.B. Cooper).


Commentary with Director Steven Brill

Video Commentary with Director Steven Brill and Cast - Let me just comment on this quickly. Sometime before we had HD DVD or Blu-ray (PiP) several studios came together and thought doing these 'video commentaries' would be a great idea. Well, they all fail. Throughout the film small clips will pop up on your screen but the chance of it actually happening is very, very slim. At times I can't even tell who was talking. Couldn't they have re-purposed this for Blu-ray?

Making of Without a Paddle (18 Minutes) Ė This is your standard making of with clips of the film and micro-interviews. Not all that exciting.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (10 Minutes) - A dozen scenes clipped/trimmed for time. Nothing here will make you roll over with laughter but a few of these could have easily been included.

Rounding out the disc is some really lame MTV Promos (10 Minutes) and a trailer. Everything ported directly from the previous DVD.


Without a Paddle arrives on Blu-ray in 2.35:1 (MPEG4) on a 25GB Disc. The original 2004 DVD release looked pretty good so it was no surprise to see a fairly clean transfer five years later on Blu-ray. Contrast at times can be a bit high though.

Paramount has included an English 5.1 TrueHD track for this release. Most of the film is heavily focus on the front speakers while rears receive minimal noises. One annoying issue was at a camp scene where every time the scene focuses on Seth Green crickets were chirping in the rear speakers yet when focused on any other actor it was silent. Not a good mix. Dialog is handled well, however.


Paramount has recently opened up the catalog floodgate and pouring our each month is a handful of great films. Without a Paddle is one of them. With average picture and audio quality and a low MSRP I'd say give this one a purchase!