on 8 November 2012
Own a Samsung 46" 3D LED TV and just watched Groundhog Day and also compared it to my DVD version.
Amazing transfer. Well worth the upgrade. Pictures and colours are nice and sharp.
You know the details of this now classic comedy, so I won't go into it.
You also get :-
25 mins doc - Groundhog Day - The Weight Of Time
6 mins doc on Groundhogs (Marmots)
6 mins of deleted scenes
10 mins interview with Harold Ramis
Head down to Gobbler's Knob and get a copy ;)
on 2 August 2009
Just dealing with the Blu-ray transfer, this was better than I expected and played in the UK (I assume the disc is region free). There was less grain than I presumed there would be. Details were sharp, colours pleasant and overall I really enjoyed the upgrade from the DVD version to the Blu-ray. Very fresh.
There's really not a lot you can say about Groundhog Day that hasn't been said before. It's unlikely that anyone remotely interested in Bill Murray would have long since seen it by now, and in all likelihood loves it because it's nailed on one of Murray's finest pictures. Of course, as is the case with comedy in general, there are those who don't like it, but in my experience it's the one comedy movie that tickles the funny bones of most the most! Some have seen it just the once and loved it but feel it is a once only movie, others such as myself return to it yearly like an old friend because it's a pick me up, a tonic for the troops, it never fails to deliver the goods.
That it has struck such a chord over the years is no surprise, it's a genius premise. Grumpy misanthrope TV weather man Phil Connors (Murray) is once again sent out to Punxsutawney to cover the Groundhog Day festivities. It's a place he considers as dull on earth, the festivities pointless and beneath the broadcasting talent he feels he has. The plan is to get the broadcast done and get out of Punxsutawney as quick as possible. But a snowstorm prevents him leaving and waking up the next day he finds he is stuck in the same Groundhog Day as the day before, and soon he finds that every day is the same day.
"I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over, and over, and over..."
The film then follows a trajectory that sees Connors go through a number of psychological transformations. From despair to using the situation for nefarious means, to despair again and onto using his unique situation to do good. It's material tailor made for Murray who excels with a number of running gags that get expanded upon with each day. However, the ace up Harold Ramis' (director) sleeve is that the film is more than a comedy, it is also an intelligent character study, a message movie and it also doesn't lack for dramatic purpose, often proving to be a moving experience once the tickled rib pain begins to subside. It's a picture as deep in human awareness as it is rich with comedy value.
Andie MacDowell as Rita, Phil's producer and object of his lust throughout the story, proves to be surprisingly good foil for Murray's comedic ebullience. While elsewhere a number of reoccurring characters are performed memorably by the support cast (Stephen Tobolowsky and Chris Elliott standing out). Ramis keeps it brisk, never allowing the plotting to fold in on itself and the sound tracking is irritatingly catchy. But it's with the screenplay (Ramis and Danny Rubin) where ultimately Groundhog day is judged, be it the comedy or human interest, it's a zinger as written. And thankfully, with Murray at the top of his game, the brainy fun on the page is brought vividly to life on the screen. Groundhog Day, one of the finest comedies of the modern era. 10/10
on 31 August 2015
Classic film, still just as enjoyable as when it first came out. Phil is a weatherman dissatisfied with life. He's sent to report on the annual 'Groundhog Day', a day which turns out to be a very bad one. But when he wakes the next morning he finds he's living the same day over and over ... This may sound a boring storyline but it really isn't, as he gets to learn a lot about himself along the way. But will he ever reach the day after? Bill Murray is excellent in this film, and I'd definitely recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it.
on 27 July 2015
I've resisted watching this film for so long, and only caved in when the offer came along!
It was great to see a fairly old and much referenced movie for the first time, and what a treat too!
I'm not sure what I was expecting, I didn't even know the "story" until just after it was delivered, but it was a nice film to watch and, despite the time-looping that is thankfully never explained, it manages to be creatively repetitive in way that illuminate the changes that Phil Connors/Bill Murray undergoes as he realises and profits from his time-looping and the complete reset that each night brings. It isn't a film you come to for insights into people, but they're there all the same - nicely done!
It isn't fall-about comedy - although we laughed often enough - but more subtle humour that is all about timing and delivery. In fact it's often not a funny film, but more situational and setting up expectations as to what's coming next, only to find humour in how Phil/Bill deals with it. I have to admit that with a couple of decades build-up I was expecting to be a little disappointed, instead I think we've found another Christmas eve film to join other things in a similar vein such as Maverick (funnier), the Despicable Me/Toy Story franchises and such films that go nicely with some forbidden food and a tipple or two, all while cuddled in front of the box!
on 4 October 2015
If you had one day to live over and over again what would you do? that was the most interesting part of the film and it ended up being funny, charming and genuinely touching, I did cry at the end. I did feel at times as though I was being forcefed a moral which I didn't like and I'm still not sure if that was intentional - but there were enough laughs and charm to distract me from that. I was a bit disappointed by the ending because I really wanted an explanation, also it was a bit simplistic and unlikely even if he did have 1000 chances or maybe I'm just being cynical. Definitely worth watching.
on 2 February 2009
What would life be like if we were immortal? Alternatively, what if we could undo every single faux-pas we had ever made? Would we live a blissful existence with no regrets or would we slowly descend into madness as we tried to tweak our lives into perfection? Groundhog Day forces us to ponder these admittedly heavy philosophical propositions, while adding a healthy dollop of Frank Capra sentimentality to prevent a mass audience disjunctive meltdown.
The story, while hardly original in itself, involves TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray playing his usual sack-faced, misanthropic self) and his team head down to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to witness the (very real) Groundhog Day festival that is held annually on February 2nd. Once on air, Phil sardonically announces "This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather" and proceeds to dismantle the whole tradition, much to the dismay of his producer Rita (refreshingly bland Andie 'Revitalift' MacDowell) and their cameraman. After the broadcast, a blizzard hits the town - we're lead to believe that this is clearly some kind of cosmic judgement on Phil for his dismal outlook as he'd earlier predicted otherwise - and the whole crew are stranded for the night in Punxsutawney. Phil wakes at 6:00AM (to the sound of Sonny & Cher's 'I Got You Babe') and proceeds with the previous day's intention of leaving the town behind. After a series of seemingly familiar encounters with the locals, Phil makes his way to the town centre and finds himself once more at the Groundhog festival. His producer and crew clearly have no memory of this time-loop and mistake Phil's irked, confused manner for his usual egocentrism. This then sets the pattern for the majority of the second act: Phil wakes at 6:00AM, to the same annoying song, sees the same people, who say the same inane things. For a man whose entire existence is based around the predictability of seemingly random events, Phil is initially confused and somewhat angry but, once he begins to comprehend the existence of the time-loop and its implications, his ego takes over and he becomes almost godlike. Phil lives the same 24 hours over and over again; he soon realizes he cannot die. He can be killed - and, on several occasions, a despairing and weary Phil attempts suicide by various means - only to wake up at 6:00AM, completely unharmed.
This being a comedy by Harold Ramis rather than a tribute to the black existentialism of Ingmar Bergman, Phil proceeds to use his newfound powers to seduce Rita, cynically fine-tuning his technique, day after day, until she finally falls for him. In her ignorance, Phil becomes Rita's perfect man. I'm not entirely sure what this says about modern relationships and the perception that men are ultimately changed by the women they love - that's a whole other essay - but, despite Phil's best efforts to please Rita, the relationship eventually flounders. This also ties in with Phil's other notable experience of powerlessness as he tries repeatedly to save the life of a homeless man. It's at this point Phil finally realizes the limitations of his frozen situation: to escape the loop he must completely embrace the warmth and possibility of an unpredictable life and live it, and this time without his trusted cynicism to shield him. In other words, he must learn to live as a mortal man. The film resolves itself shortly afterwards, a la 'It's a Wonderful Life', ending with Rita and Phil together again, and looking forward to a life together albeit one relocated to Punxsutawney.
Although it is unspecified in the film, the amount of time thought to have passed is ten years. This is mentioned in the Director's Commentary included on the DVD but why it shouldn't have been a hundred or even a thousand years is clearly beyond me. Personally, I like the idea of a Methuselahn Bill Murray and, since the story is about both the isolation that comes with ultimate knowledge and the living purgatory that predictability brings, it would be a much more powerful and satisfying film if it bridged an unthinkable and intolerable time span. As it stands, it is still a very enjoyable film indeed. A film that both manages to go beyond the limited confines of its genre without alienating the intended audience with an unusually heavy concept or by being overly glib in its ruminations and conclusions. A film, one hopes, you will find yourself watching over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
on 22 March 2016
A very decent transfer. Some of this vintage really aren't. The scrooge theme, as ever, works best in the beginning. I simply refuse to believe Murray would even glance at McDowell, much less change his ways in order to win her.
Tried to imagine a sequel, but Murray trapped in a marriage with McDowell probably wouldn't have mass audience appeal.
on 26 December 2001
Id actualy go as far as to say that along with Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Brazil, Withnail & I, this is probably somewhere in the top 10 films ever made. Infact its probably the only american "feel good" movie that is sincere enough to work. Bill Murrays performance is beyond fantastic. What I like most is the philosophical questions this movie opens up, combined with hillarious comedy. Its a cheesy thing to say, but this movie really can be watched again & again & again..
This is without a doubt, one of Bill Murray's best films. It is both a fantasy and a comedy flick. The basic premise of the film is simple. A man is forced to relive the same twenty four hours, over, and over, and over again, ad infinitum.
Bill Murray is that man. An obnoxious Pittsburgh weatherman, he is in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania to cover its Groundhog Day celebration, along with his beautiful and altruistic TV producer, played by Andie MacDowell, and his patient, long suffering cameraman, played by Chris Elliot. Murray, playing an uncaring, unfeeling wretch of a guy, is, for some inexplicable reason, forced to relive the same twenty four hours in Punxutawney over and over again. Why? Who knows and who cares? What follows next are some of the funniest moments in film.
At first, Murray is confused. No one else, however, seems to be. As Murray continues to relive the same day, confusion turns to anger. Ultimately, that anger turns to mischievousness and indulgence. After all, what would one do, if there were no consequences to one's actions?
This premise provides for quite a few, very funny scenes. This puckish foray quickly denigrates into profound despair, as Murray realizes that he seems destined to relive the same day forever. Frequent, subsequent suicide attempts fail to stop the clock, and Murray rethinks his position. He concentrates, finally, on becoming the best man that he can be, with the lovely Andie MacDowell as his romantic interest.
Murray's transition from smarm to charm provides for many hilarious scenes that will leave the viewer howling with laughter. The ultimate impact of his transition from Neanderthal man to Renaissance man is, needless to say, a positive one. This redemption will ultimately prove to be Murray's salvation.
Murray provides droll, comedic delivery, and he is perfect in this role. Andie MacDowell is the perfect straight man and comedic foil. Together they make this movie one that the viewer will want to see again and again.