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4 items from 2004


Without a Paddle

9 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Making like a slacker City Slickers, Steven Brill's Without a Paddle chronicles the backwoods misadventures of a trio of childhood buddies who make good on a 20-year-old pact and set out to find bank robber DB Cooper's missing $200,000 stash.

But while the likable Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard are definitely up to the comic excursion, the picture charts an uncertain course between wild and mild, eventually running aground in a pile of male-bonding muck.

Those looking for late-summer lark may be up for the trip, but the soft-around-the-edges tone won't exactly go over big with its target young, testosterone-driven demo.

The trek begins promisingly enough with the neurotic Dr. Dan Mott (Green), burned-out businessman Jerry Conlaine (Lillard) and aimless adventurer Tom Marshall (Shepard) honoring the memory of a childhood friend by going on a canoe trip in search of Cooper's rumored treasure.

Armed with a detailed map their pal left behind, a toy Indiana Jones compass and their not-so-collected wits, the guys take on roaring rapids, a maternal brown bear (played with the usual conviction by Bart the Bear -- actually Bart the Bear 2) and a pair of angry pot farmers (Ethan Suplee and Abraham Benrubi) whose crops were accidentally destroyed by the trio, before meeting up with an eccentric mountain man (Burt Reynolds) who happens to have been a good friend of Cooper's.

Too bad they couldn't have lent their Indy compass to director Brill (Mr. Deeds, Little Nicky) and his group of five credited writers, because Without a Paddle is never able to find any real sense of direction.

Weighed down by a patched-together script, a sluggish pace and a wavering tone caught between a rock and a squishy place, the picture keeps stumbling along toward a particularly wobbly ending.

With New Zealand providing the Oregon backdrop, The Great Outdoors beckon mightily, especially during those white-water sequences, which are effectively photographed by cinematographer Jonathan Brown (whose father, Garrett, invented the Steadicam mount).

And music supervisor Julianne Jordan supplies a worthy mix tape for the journey, which manages to unite Culture Club, Joey Ramone, the Faces and .38 Special, not to mention R. Kelly, whose Bump 'N Grind intro sets up one of the picture's funnier sequences.

Without a Paddle

Paramount

Paramount Pictures presents a De Line Pictures production

A Steven Brill film

Credits:

Director: Steven Brill

Screenwriters: Jay Leggett, Mitch Rouse

Story: Fred Wolf, Harris Goldberg, Tom Nursall

Producer: Donald De Line

Executive producers: Richard Vane, Andrew Haas, Wendy Japhet

Director of photography: Jonathan Brown

Production designer: Perry Andelin Blake

Editors: Debra Neil-Fisher, Peck Prior

Costume designer: Ngila Dickson

Music: Christophe Beck

Music supervisor: Julianne Jordan

Cast:

Dr. Dan Mott: Seth Green

Jerry Conlaine: Matthew Lillard

Tom Marshall: Dax Shepard

Elwood: Ethan Suplee

Dennis: Abraham Benrubi

Flower: Rachel Blanchard

Del Knox: Burt Reynolds

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time -- 93 minutes »

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McGraw's 'Live' powers to No. 1

2 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Tim McGraw scores the biggest country debut of the year with Live Like You Were Dying (Curb), which tops the Billboard 200 on sales of 766,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Aug. 22. The country superstar's live album, his third chart topper, is the fifth-biggest debut for a country album in the 13-year Nielsen SoundScan era. Three urban acts debut in the next three slots, led by R. Kelly's latest Jive/Zomba album Happy People/U Saved Me. Kelly's latest effort sold 403,000 copies. G-Unit's newest member, Young Buck, opens at No. 3 on sales of 261,000 copies of his Interscope debut, Straight Outta Ca$hville. »

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1 mil hear Usher's new 'Confessions'

1 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Usher has landed the best opening-sales week for a male R&B artist in SoundScan's 13-year history and this year's best debut week, overtaking Norah Jones. Usher's Confessions (Arista) bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with more than 1.09 million copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures obtained from industry sources for the week ending March 28. Jones' Feels Like Home (Blue Note) opened with 1.02 million units scanned. R. Kelly set the previous record for a male R&B act in 2000 with TP-2.com (Jive), which topped 540,000 units sold in its first week. Eminem set the standard for biggest debut week by any male artist with The Marshall Mathers LP, which sold 1.7 million copies in May 2000. »

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J.Lo Single Delayed After Affleck Split

2 March 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Superstar Jennifer Lopez has delayed the release of her latest single "Baby I Love You" so she can remove any reference to former fiance Ben Affleck. After 18 months of public declarations of love, embarrassed J.Lo is reportedly dropping her the song in the fear it will spark ridicule. Lopez's fourth track from her hit album This Is Me, Then, which the Latina devoted to Affleck with songs such as "Dear Ben, You Belong To Me," was originally due for a Valentine's Day release. After Lopez and Affleck ended their romance in January, the sexy singer has been forced to make changes to forthcoming releases, according to Britain's New! magazine. The song, which features controversial rapper R Kelly, was originally recorded as a personal message to Affleck and the CD sleeve was set to a feature a photo of the famous couple, with a love message written by Lopez across the image. After the pair split, Lopez demanded the whole batch of CDs be reprinted without any reference to the Hollywood heart-throb. Bosses at Sony are re-working the video for J.Lo's 2002 hit "Jenny From The Block" and removing the shots of Affleck in time for a forthcoming Greatest Hits DVD. However, Lopez can be still seen wearing her pink diamond engagement ring in the advertisements for her new perfume Still. »

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4 items from 2004


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