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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 September 2017
If you’ve somehow found yourself watching the 2016 version of ‘Ghostbusters’ you may or may not have noticed some bloke popping up in the middle of the film, only to disappear as quickly. I barely spotted him. In fact, it took me until practically the end of the movie to realise it was Bill Murray, now reduced to a cameo in the film that – arguably – made him a household name. Whatever you think about the ‘Ghostbusters’ remake, after the original he was riding high and one of his follow-up roles (and possibly ‘best’) was as Phil Conners in ‘Groundhog Day.’ If you haven’t watched it then, by now, you’ve probably seen a film that’s – technically – based on it. The formula is a simple, if pretty basic one: a man is literally trapped in a day. No matter what he does, where he goes or who he meets, he simply wakes up the following morning in today. Since ‘Groundhog Day’ I’ve watched this format played out in all sorts of other films or TV programmes – everything from the ‘X-files’ did it, to variants of the genre such as incorporating horror and sci-fi to the mix. However, no matter how fun they were, none have really come close to watching a grown man kidnap a small rodent and take it for a joy ride through a quarry pit in small-town America.

Bill Murray plays a weatherman who hates his assignment covering a – in his mind- low-brown and pointless celebration in a small American town which has a tradition involving a groundhog (also called ‘Phil!’) supposedly predicting the weather for the next few months. Murray’s done it for years and is totally sick of it, however, when the day ends, a freak snowstrom strands him not just in the town, but also in the day. What follows is quite an accurate account of what might occur should this happen. At first you have confusion and disbelief, followed by the freedom to know everything that’s going to happen in the future (or at least for the next twenty-four hours) and finally depression at the realisation that you’re never going to live any other life that what’s on offer for this day.

Rumour has it that Murray disagreed with the film-makers as to what sort of film this should be. He wanted it as a deep and emotional study of the human condition when presented with such a situation, whereas the director wanted more of a fluffy family (romantic) comedy. From what I can tell both parties seemed to get their way. Yes, this film could be classed as ‘fun for all the family.’ There’s something for everyone to enjoy. It’s great fun without ever getting too dark to be difficult to explain to younger viewers. However, it does also grant Murray his wish to a degree as, despite its absurd premise, you could argue that it plays out almost exactly how it would if a human was faced with this ‘capture in time.’

I watched ‘Groundhog Day’ when it first came out in the cinema and I’m pleased to say that it’s as good today as it ever was. There are plenty of good supporting cast members, my favourite was Murray’s long-suffering camera man, but this is Murray’s baby. The film sits firmly on his shoulders and he carries it perfectly. Enjoy its numerous imitations, but this will always be the original and best. If only the same could be said about the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters!’ (meow!)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 August 2017
I'm not sure if this is THE best of Bill Murray's films but it definitely is ONE of the best, while Scrooged was a fantastic film which I like to try and watch around Christmas (or at least new year) it is not remembered by many and if it is then its merely as a clone or revamp of the Christmas Carol story (it may be the case but I think the film has some merit of its own even if it was not entirely original).

Groundhog Day is an original movie, although ostensibly about a holiday in the US when a groundhog's emerging is said to portend the weather (a little like the weather on St Patrick's day portending the weather for thirty days thereafter), which Murray and his team are there to report on, the film has become a literal byword for living life on repeat or one day being like the next. The reason for this is simple as that is the plot of the show, Murray wakes up each morning to discover he is reliving the same day over and over. That considered it could make for an uninteresting or short movie but they cover pretty much every imaginable angle to that kind of experience, the pluses, the minuses and Murray delivers as good a performance as I've seen him deliver.

I wont spoil the feature, in case you have not seen it, although it has been in circulation for a long time, what I will say is more than once I've heard it described as a good depiction of what is believed by some who believe in reincarnation, also that there is some funny talk about an earlier cut of the film (I think James Rolfe referenced it when he discussed this movie on a resurrected movies clip on Cinemassacre) in which Murray has been cursed by an ex-partner and that is the source of his "living life on repeat". I am so, so glad that this was deleted from the final cut and they do not ever provide any explanation as to why this is taking place. That I think is a strength of this feature that they do not do that and instead just concentrate on the character going through it. Its what makes the difference between a classic film and a really mediocre romcom flick.
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on 1 March 2016
One of my favourite films despite not normally liking Bill Murray nor Andi Mcwhatever her name is. Some great humour about the differences between men and women, and the struggle men have to even remotely begin to understand them. Poor Bill has to re-live the same day tens of times to start to understand what he needs to do, and not do, to be a good life partner. My favourite line is when Bill says 'This is a man you are looking for?" (you need to watch it to see why it is funny)
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on 6 September 2017
Arrived swiftly and in perfect condition. The film is obviously great and whilst the quality in Bluray isn't going to blow your mind, it does make for a nice little upgrade. There are some nice behind the scene features including the late Harold Ramis talking about how the film has had an impact on so many different communities since its release which was nice to watch. Also includes the usual behind the scene material. Overall, very satisfied!
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One of my Top Ten films, which I never tire of watching.
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on 20 April 2017
This is one of the pillars of the cinematic history. It's perfect in every way, and, obviously, we watch it over and over again. Great fun and good feelings for both grown ups and young.
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on 17 May 2016
Groundhog Day is a great movie by the late Harold Ramis. Bill Murray seem's to be a perfect casting choice for this role, combining comedy with drama.
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on 16 July 2017
IMHO this should be on everyones bucket list....Nuff said.
Paddy.
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on 1 April 2017
Well, that's what we call 'a classic'.
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on 27 June 2017
Any day wocthes this movie.
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