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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stand By Me meets Road Trip
This is by far the best buddy whacky wild adventure of the year. It was not only a laugh out loud comedy but in a way a story that makes you think of your own life and if your living it to the fullest. I found the three main characters (Seth Green ,Dax Sherped, Matthew Lillard ) to be extremely likable characters and it really gave you the sense that they where all really...
Published on May 18, 2005 by sammy88

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What A Bear Does In The Woods
Just another buddy road trip; 3 idiots in search of D. B. Cooper....over 3 decades after the fact! But, whatever, any excuse to throw 3 hapless 'friends' in one danger filled wilderness adventure after another: an overly friendly bear, rapids complete with a waterfall, and 2 killer pot farmers.
The humor is skewed so that most of the bad/funny things happen to the...
Published on February 15, 2011 by Einsatz


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stand By Me meets Road Trip, May 18, 2005
By 
This is by far the best buddy whacky wild adventure of the year. It was not only a laugh out loud comedy but in a way a story that makes you think of your own life and if your living it to the fullest. I found the three main characters (Seth Green ,Dax Sherped, Matthew Lillard ) to be extremely likable characters and it really gave you the sense that they where all really good friends. I found that how theses old friends come back together after one of their close friends dies, which makes them embark on this treasure hunt of adventure. The movie itself is very pleasing and if you in for a warm-hearted flick this is the one to bring you on the wild river.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why don't people like this?, March 9, 2005
Okay. You probably won't take my advice, but I'll give it to you anyway; BUY THIS MOVIE. It is absolutely, 100 % mindless entertainment, but it's worth it! I saw it a couple of days after it came out, and fell in love. I went back to see it three more times, and bought it as soon as it came out on DVD. I even bought the poster, which I've never done for any other movie or television series. That's all there is to it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What A Bear Does In The Woods, February 15, 2011
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Just another buddy road trip; 3 idiots in search of D. B. Cooper....over 3 decades after the fact! But, whatever, any excuse to throw 3 hapless 'friends' in one danger filled wilderness adventure after another: an overly friendly bear, rapids complete with a waterfall, and 2 killer pot farmers.
The humor is skewed so that most of the bad/funny things happen to the poor little guy (Seth Green). Throughout, I kept wondering why these 3 were friends, they treat each other abominably (through constant ridicule and cruelty, bullying). I know I wouldn't put up with it.
Sight gags abound, yes, excrement is involved. And besides a lovely couple of tree huggers, there's Burt Reynolds as a hermit. Why not, they tried everything else.
I'm ashamed to admit I laughed a couple of times.
It's pretty much what you'd expect.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I did not write this review...my daughter did, January 22, 2005
I went to see this movie thinking it was going to be funny. I was right! This movie had me laughing all the way through, from the bear attack to the weed farm to the Earth-child tree house, this movie lived up to my expectations and then some.

When their friend Billy dies on one of his many adventures, Jerry, Tom, and Dan go back to Oregon and encounter their old tree house with all their childhood memorabilia. They find a box with relics they put in that was not supposed to be removed until they found DB Cooper's treasure. Supposedly he parachuted into the woods with a bunch of stolen cash but was never seen since. Billy had even marked out the trip on a map and had wanted to go with the guys on a camping trip the previous summer, but none of them could make it. Tom was detained in Mexico. So, to honor their friend, and despite Dan's "I'm Dr. Mott now!" objection, the three decide to follow Billy's map and finally search for DB's treasure.

The trip starts out with a pit stop in a very run-down town. Using Dan's satellite cell phone, Jerry runs into some trouble with his girlfriend, who is tired of waiting for him to settle down. Once they barely escape from a shariff with no teeth, it's off into the woods to christen a red canoe, much to a Native American's dismay. "Thanks for breaking glass where my kids play." Smoothe, Jerry, whose response was, "...oh."

When they finally land for the night, things go fine until Tom decides he wants to fish by "flashing them". Dan bets $1000 and his left, well, anyway, he bets he can't do it. The first fish Jerry and Dan forget to catch out of stupidity, but the second was out of fear of the bear that Tom doesn't notice until Jerry starts taking off his shoes.
"You can't outrun that bear."
"I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you." Dan trips while running and Tom suggests the fetile position. The bear then takes him for a cub and carries him off. "ABORT THE FETILE POSITION!" Hey, how many chances do you have to try freshly caught...what was it? A raccoon? Well, that night was spent in a tree and Dan's brand new cell phone becomes a tasty snack.

The next day the bear is scared off by explosion sounds and the trio sees a boat with two ugly rednecks in it throwing grenades into the water. Dan wants to cut through the woods and start out on the other side. When they do, they miss the fork and end up on the wrong side of it. Although Tom made himself out to be a Class-45 river rafter, they don't have much luck and end up sailing over a 100-foot waterfall. Now they don't have a canoe or a map, which the bear had clawed through anyway.

They set off into the woods and come across civilization and Creed wafting through the air. However, when they get close enough, they find the same two rednecks they were trying to avoid earlier talking to beheaded fish. They hide in their shed which is stuffed with packages of grade-A marijuana. One wrong move and dogs Lynyrd and Skynyrd are on their tail. So after setting off the flares that light up the entire marijuana field, which ultimately sets the field on FIRE, Tom, Jerry, and Dano take off. Half-way through, everyone is completely stoned. They manage to escape, though. So...onward into the woods.

Earth-child. No, not just any old hippie. A tree. The soaked guys, after swearing they aren't from the logging company, "If you're from the logging company you'll have to speak to our lawyers!", are allowed to come up and meet Flower and Butterfly. Slug (Jerry) and Condor (Dano) are immediately embraced (what was Tom called again?) and they discover just how "natural" the two girls really are. They try to radio for help, but the signal is intercepted by the rednecks who are after them. When they try to cut down Earth-child, Tom, Dano, and Jerry make a run for it in nothing but their underwear. (Butterfly and Flower were drying their clothes off, in case you were wondering.) Even though flying bags of, well, (what would you use the "little tree's room" for?) are thrown on their heads, the rednecks don't give up on Earth-child until Tom rides off with one of their wheelies and ends up driving it off a cliff. Surviving the drop, Tom, Jerry, and Dano escape into the woods again, and this time, Dano finally gets a kiss farewell. (Flower is the hairy woman of his dreams!)

Now it's dark and cold. Dano is tired and they're in front of a cave. Once you hear the lyrics, "My mind's telling me no, but my body...my body's tellin me yes", you know it's going to go a little crazy. Hey, it's cold! And as Tom said, "This never leaves the cave." After Jabba leaves his hut because Jerry can't keep his exotic thoughts in his head (poor Dano, it's not his fault), the scary mountain man Del Knox shows up and leads them back to his cabin.

He doesn't kill them, but he does tell them that he was DB Cooper's best friend. He spent 30 years up in those mountains. He couldn't leave. The next morning comes along. Dano wakes up.
Dano: Mmm...bacon.
Del: Squirrel.
Dano: Mmm...squirrel.
The rednecks can't read for anything, but they can track, and sure enough, after Jerry finds the eaten cell phone (does a bear -poop- in the woods?), they catch up to them. Del takes care of them temporarily so Tom, Jerry, and Dano can escape.

The compass isn't working. The iron in the mines is throwing it off. Revelation! If it's throwing their compass off, it must've thrown DB Cooper's compass off! Next thing they know, they've fallen through a mine shaft. And...da da da DA...there they come face-to-face with none other than DB Cooper himself...well, what's left of him. After burning his treasure to stay alive for a few more hours, he froze to death. Their mission complete, they get their relics back (a C3PO collectible, a rookie card, and a rubber -good going Tom-) and decide to place it with DB Cooper and his treasure. Then the rednecks show up...again. Dano slipped through a hole in the shaft to freedom with the help of singing a "Culture Club" song. He then knocks the two trouble-makers into the hole with Jerry and Tom. A fight ensues. Dano picks up a grenade that was dropped. The same sheriff from town shows up. Problem solved, right? WRONG!

The rednecks work for the sheriff and all guns are pointed at Jerry, Tom, and Dano. Once Jerry is given possession of the grenade, he gives the three thugs a choice:
Jerry: I've decided my life's worth living. And if you decide that your lives are worth living (actual dialogue may vary), you'll put your guns down.
Sheriff: And if we don't?
Jerry: (pulls grenade) Bye-bye, boys.
The grenade hits a tree and the three thugs are caught under it. Back in town (not the run-down town but Jerry, Tom, and Dano's hometown) the thugs are arrested and Del gives the guys a little surprise: DB's parachute. He has DB's bones in his backpack and plans to see the world.
Del: Maybe even Washington.
Jerry:...wow...one state.
Inside the parachute is Del's share of the treasure: $100,000 I think it was. Jerry doesn't want it. Dano doesn't want it. (Hell, he's "Dr. Mott" now!) so Tom, who isn't the Harley salesman he claimed to be, uses it to pay off his debts.

In the end:

Jerry asks his girlfriend to marry him and she says yes.
Dano and Flower share an intimate moment in Earth-child.
Tom confuses a bunch of boyscouts at a camp fire.
The movie ends leaving you with only one burning question:

"What's a 'downstairs'?"

Enough said.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dopey fun for all those who appreciate it, May 10, 2008
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I'm almost sad to say that this is a college favorite of mine. I remember originally seeing this in theatres with my roommates, and subsequently the DVD became a regular weekend event. Yes, it's stupid movie humor as to be expected by this particular set of actors, but gosh darn it I like it! If it makes anyone feel any better, a slice of history is used to explain the trip through the Oregon wilderness--which of course leads to the wilderness survival nightmare that is this movie. Still, it's fun and it has a bit of heart, so that is why I love it so.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Cute, Silly, a good laugh, February 13, 2006
OK for kids over 10

This was fun. Not deep, kinda silly, but I laughed out loud several times, and that is good enough for me.

3 best friends go on a treasure hunt out in the beautiful North West, meeting up with a bear, a couple motley pot growers(Abe Benrubi from ER, and Ethan Suplee, from The Butterfly Effect) and a real mountain man, Burt Reynolds.

The money is what they're after, but they find more. Friendship, life, and true values, amongst other things.

My sweetheart, Norman and I snuggled on the sofa and watched this while eating leftover salmon. Was nice to relax, no swearing or nudity - so it's OK for the kidlets. Probably not wee kids, but, over 10 or 12.

Good fun. Not terribly serious, but, isn't that nice once in a while? I think so!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (2.5 STARS) Not Bad, But Great. Goes on Like 'City Slickers' without Billy Crystal, December 8, 2005
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
Mix the premise of `City Slickers' with the silliness of any recent Hollywood comedies released for summer season, and then you get `Without a Paddle.' The story is awfully predictable, the gags are not so funny, and most curiously there's no chemistry between three actors (each talented though), but `Without a Paddle' remains a passable comedy throughout thanks to the genuinely likable characters.

`Without a Paddle' is a kind of comedy of which content you can tell by looking at its story, cast, poster, 2 minute trailer, and the title. Matthew Lilard, Seth Green, and Dax Shepard go to the mountains in order to find the treasure (or stolen money) supposedly hidden by a famed thief one D. B. Cooper. There is canoeing, close encountering with a bear, meeting with two hippie women, etc. all indicating nothing original during the course of about 100 minutes. There is even a `Those were the days' section using home video clips trying to give pathos, and the filmmakers are brave enough to even add a `meaning of life' message to the comedy with the appearance of Burt Reynolds, who appears with a thick beard.

For all its uninspired script and direction, the film has good moments due to the cast. Seth Green, who perfectly knows the right timing to be funny, proves again that he can do great comic turn without making it too silly. Lilard (unusually subdued for him) is also good, and so is newcomer Dax Shepard. But for all good works from each of them, the three characters as a whole do not convince me as three old friends since childhood. The story about their friendship falls flat, which only help make the lack of originality in the film's numerous gags - jokes about pot, homosexuality, or toilet humor and so on - more obvious than otherwise.

But I liked the three characters, not because of themselves or what they do, but because of the actors playing them. They and their acting leave no nasty taste in your mouth after watching this comedy, and that is not a bad thing at all. The film somehow refuses to be wild when it should be, and the actors look as if waiting for the cue to be wild, which never comes after all But it is still true that they did professional's jobs, all Green, Lilard, and Shepard, and to watch them is not a bad idea for me. If only director Steven Brill (`Little Nicky' 'Mr. Deeds' and others) had given them a chance to do something different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Could you really see their downstairs?", July 16, 2005
All too often is there an abundance of serious, straight-faced films that are released at an almost constant pace in theaters. Then every once in a while the proverbial "ugly duckling"comes around and opens everyones eyes. Without A Paddle is a little of both of those. While it is anything but a monumental smash hit, it opened a lot of peoples eyes and did quite well for what it had to work with. Aside from Seth Green and Matthew Lillard, Without A Paddle really didn't have much going for it. In a nutshell it's basically your typical comedy. This means that it will include some gross-out humor, rednecks, and a huge amount of drug and "downstairs" references. Or at least that's what this film brings to the table. Without A Paddle is about four men (Tom, Dan, Billy, and Jerry) who, as children, were very troublesome and adventurous. This led them into their mid-twenties where Billy had to separate from the seemingly inseparable group to pursue other goals in life. What follows is the untimely death of Billy, and what could have been the demise of the rest of the gang. But instead, the remaining three become closer than ever before and, following directions from a map Billy left before he croaked, go on a final adventure. This journey consists of finding the hidden treasure of D.B. Cooper which had eluded the boys since early age. It all begins here as they set off while reminiscing about childhood, Culture Club, and mix tapes.

As for more info on who Tom, Dan, and Jerry are... Dan, played by the awesome Seth Green, was the doctor that was worried and paranoid about being diseased. He also had a lot of phobias, which I found to be comedic considering that he was a doctor and most doctors have very few (if any) fears when it comes to health. Then there was Jerry. Matthew Lillard did a good job as Jerry, in my opinion. Jerry was basically a yuppie-like businessman with an unhappy life. He also had a girlfriend who he was too afraid to propose to. Tom, the third and final character, was played by Dax Shepard. Tom was, overall, a very good liar. He tended to stretch the truth more than was necessary, or he just flat-out lied. For instance, rather than having earned money off of selling prized Harley Davidson motorcycles, in reality he actually sold off several of his friends band t-shirts on eBay. So in short, the brief cast of characters in the flick were interesting enough, even though I would have preferred a bit more depth for each of them. I did like what Seth Green did for his character though. I couldn't have imagined a better actor casted for such a role.

I actually liked Without A Paddle quite a lot for a standard Friday evening comedy. It's distantness and comedy were aimed at a much younger audience that I expected; teenagers will definitely like this one the most. Especially with the repetitive talk of women's "downstairs" and several scenes that include Tom, Dan, and Jerry escaping two of the villains in a field of weed. The humor is intended to be immature, but at times it can be very funny. Then again, there are some scenes that either take it too far or just go off the edge with ridiculousness. For example, the part where the three wander into a tree of two "forest girls" who appear to be lesbians is a little too much. In my opinion, the first half of the flick was much better than the final half. Actually, the beginning turned out to be very well-scripted and thought out. I liked the inclusion of the mix tapes and vintage posters. The opening childhood scene was neat, especially with the awesome music. If there's one thing that I liked in the movie, it was all of the music. The backgrounds and scenery kind of got tiring and boring after a while. It seemed like the guys fell off nineteen of the same waterfall. There was little to no variety when it came to the setting. I would have liked for the most to take place elsewhere, maybe in, say, the desert. That would have made for some good comedy, but would of been a surefire rip-off of that old Pauly Shore movie. Overall, Without A Paddle is for the younger audience. I wouldn't recommend it to small children for several reasons. One, some of the language is inappropriate. And two, the fact that drugs are in the movie is a no-no. Other than that, if you think your kid is ready for that, then by all means let them watch this. I only recommend Without A Paddle to anyone looking for a couple good, non-serious chuckles. Other than that, this film doesn't really provide much else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for breaking glass where my kids play., January 21, 2005
By 
I was very surprised by this film. It was not this exceptionally funny film that will be remembered forever, nor was it this pre-teen comedy that prided itself on sexual humor and bathroom jokes, but instead a solid comedy about friends and their tribulations in the forest. The comedy in this film was strong, providing some very funny moments and some humorous lines provided by actors that seemed genuinely interested in making this film. There seemed to be a strong connection between our three actors as they played off each other exceptionally well. What really impressed me about this film was not just the sporadic comedy that was top-notch when applied well, but also the story. You don't see stories like this as often as you would like. The 80s were classic for bringing a group of actors together to fight the elements of nature, but lately it seems that sex and drugs sell stronger. While there was plenty of this in Without a Paddle, it wasn't the major theme. The powers of friendship, the influences that it has on your life, and the effects of maturity when in a hostile environment were all major elements to this film. It was like The Great Outdoors meets The Goonies created in 2004. This is not a bad little combination that, despite the enormous pitfalls in the story line, played quite decent.

The actors in this film were not comedy genius', but the did know how to make you laugh and that worked for me. Seth Green was the standout performer in this film as his character provided some of the wittiest lines as well as hysterical physical humor throughout the film. Green did a fantastic job with Mott, giving him not only several layers, but also this genuine feel of friendship. That is what impressed me the most with Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, and Dax Shepard, they seemed genuine in their delivery. Nothing seemed forced or to controlling with these guys. Their ability to deliver some very funny lines while trying to keep a jigsaw puzzle of a story together was a great accomplishment. Without the incredibly perfect casting in this film, I do believe it would not have worked. Green's delivery, Lillard's emotion, and Shepard's physical humor embodied the core elements of comedy for this film. They each carried Without a Paddle on their shoulders and with pride. Also, I have to give credit to the supporting cast as well. Burt Reynolds did a great job as the little guy that helps this band of yuppies to their final destination, as well as Ethan Suplee and Abraham Benrubi who were perfectly cast as the rednecks of the woods. While Deliverance was a running gag throughout the film, I thought that these actors created something unique and worthwhile on their own. The recreated a dying genre of wooded comedy and while they did not create perfection, they did a great job trying.

Sadly, the actors couldn't do everything. The gaping plot holes created by Fred Wolf and Harris Goldberg were devastating. It literally ripped this film to shreds. The ability to get from point A to point B seemed to be a challenge for the writers of this film. While they were able to pull it off in the end, you could tell that they were having some trouble. There just seemed to be too many "What the ..." combined with "Whosa what..." to make the story stand on its own. With the help of MTV, they were able to cover some up by using songs from the 80s to divert us into a new direction. For me, it just didn't cut it. The ending was laughable, and not in the comedy sense, but in the "the writers had to wrap this up quickly" sense. This was my biggest problem with this film was the story. It felt as if there was too much ground to cover and not enough time to do so. Maybe it was the final editing, but you finished this film feeling like you missed a big chunk of the action.

Overall, this was a decent little movie that had me laughing at some parts while waiting for others to end. Seth Green fans will be highly impressed with his role in this film and definitely show that he needs to continue to get more work to improve this great gift. The comedy delivered by the actors is a great blend of 80s humor without the sex and drug jokes. I felt I wasn't being demeaned or my intelligence squandered on this film, but instead it kind of made me think of my youth and friends. The story was, in all honesty, horrible. I don't think the writers had a good grip on this film and therefore it suffered. For those interested in seeing this film, I think the acting is worth checking out, but the story could have been tweaked a couple more times. Not bad, but very far from perfection.

Grade: *** out of *****
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars About as expected., May 23, 2010
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Minus the dueling banjos it is you-know-what. There were a few funny moments. The sexual inuendos were uniformly overdone and stupid. So, on average that's where I'd put this DVD, smack in the middle. Average, a flat and featureless C.
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Without a Paddle [Blu-ray]
Without a Paddle [Blu-ray] by Steven Brill (Blu-ray - 2009)
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