Groundhog Day (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=130724&d=1232645996
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

78






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1993
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Dutch, Arabic
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Music by: George Fenton
Written by: Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 27, 2009







"He’s having the day of his life…over and over again"



Film Synopsis:

Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn't get any worse, they do. Phil wakes the next morning to find it's Groundhog Day all over again... and again... and again.



My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=130725&d=1232646134

I have been a Bill Murray fan since seeing him on Saturday Night Live and his early films such as Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Stripes. I haven’t seen every film he has made but I think I have seen most. What about Bob is among my Murray favorites and Groundhog day was his very next film so I looked forward to it. I recall seeing it theatrically and immediately finding it different than most of his other movies. I liked how the film blended humor, drama, and romance into a fantasy based story about a cynical, condescending weatherman who took things and people for granted. He goes to Punxsutawney, PA for the third year in a row to cover the annual ground hog festival. To him it is belittling and time wasting but this year Phil Connor (Murray) is in for a different experience. He completes his brief and somewhat sarcastic coverage of the event and can’t leave town fast enough. The problem is that an approaching snow storm strands Phil, producer Rita (MacDowell), and cameraman Larry (Elliott) in Punxsutawney for another night. Phil awakes the next morning to find that it is still February 2nd (groundhog day) and that he is the only one who knows it. No matter what Phil does he is trapped in an ongoing loop that cycles the same day over and over and over….

Phil Connor is in need of a lesson. He looks at the people around him and fails to see their worth outside of what, if anything, they can do for him. He remains trapped in this close knit, small town, until he realizes that perhaps he needs to look at the events in his life as well as the people from a different perspective. During the course of his repetitive stay he develops feelings for Rita. Initially he uses the time loop process to learn about her by taking things he picked up in the previous iteration to cajole her into falling for him. This backfires and results in frustration for Phil. He eventually learns through bitter experience that perhaps he is looking at it from the wrong viewpoint. After he successfully convinces Rita of what has been going on she points out that maybe he should look at it as a blessing rather than a curse and that he should take advantage of the time he has to do something worthwhile. This is carefully played out over the course of the movie and I like how it slowly builds for Phil as he begins to figure things out. I enjoy watching Phil’s transition from the cynical, wise cracking, opportunist to someone of measured worth who sees the value in people. This then becomes reflective and the people around him can see the qualities and value in Phil. I love watching Murray in this role as I think it offers him the chance to be more than just funny. The supporting cast is well placed, especially Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned Ryerson, who steals every scene he is in. I liked Andie MacDowell as Rita and thought that she and Phil were written as two perfectly contrasted opposites that would attract. I am glad to see this film brought to high definition Blu-ray Disc. It will be added to my collection and replace my existing 1998 DVD version.








Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic elements

The rating is for thematic elements.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 78


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692
attachment.php?attachmentid=130727&d=1232646134

Groundhog Day comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.4 mbps.

This video presentation offered pleasing well balanced colors, excellent shadow delineation, and respectable blacks that enhanced the visual depth of dark elements onscreen. Flesh tones among the cast were naturally depicted, with the exception of Murray. For some reason his complexion had a latex type texture that seemed to progress as the film went on. Grain is preserved naturally and comes in variable layers that rarely rise above moderate levels. I occasionally noticed halos around objects set against light colored backgrounds which is consistent with artificial sharpening but it was fairly minor. I detected some intermittent digital noise that was visible in backgrounds. I didn’t feel it was to the point where it negatively impacted fidelity but I wanted to mention it. Images were resolved well enough to bring out varying levels of detail that at times were revealing of fine textures and perceivable depth. This high definition presentation offers a discernible improvement over the DVD and represents the best that Groundhog day has looked on home video.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack uses a different mix versus the lossy Dolby Digital surround track on the 1998 DVD release. With lossless audio’s higher fidelity I heard clearer highs that didn’t sound strident or tinny. This was noticeable during the party sequence near the end as the jazz band ensemble jams out. Dialogue is clearly articulated and rich in vocal description. This isn’t a dynamically impressive soundtrack but dynamic range is satisfying. The only scene that contains any appreciable impact is the chase sequence which culminates in the truck explosion. There was enough LFE mixed to the subwoofer that it provided brief, but palpable low bass detonation that resonated well into the room. Surround activity came in the form of diffused background sounds that were associated with crowd noises and music. I noticed that the surrounds were mixed a bit too hot at times which created an uneven balance between the front and rear sound fields. I found it occasionally distracting but this was scene dependent. The groundhog festival and the party sequence in the final act are two examples. I felt that the surrounds were too prominent during the festival scene but later when the band was playing at the party I felt that the balance was smoother and better integrated. I also noticed in chapter 12 as Phil and Rita sat in his room flipping cards that the volume of the entire track became lower. I have no idea why it did this but it was short in duration and gradually improved until it was normal by the beginning of the next segment. These few issues aside this is a discernible improvement over the DVD version that I have and overall I was pleased with it.



Bonus Features:


  • Audio commentary with Director Harold Ramis

  • (HD) A different day: An interview with Harold Ramis – 10 minutes

  • Groundhog Day: The weight of time – 24 minute making of documentary

  • (HD) The story of groundhogs: A real life look at Marmots

  • Blu-ray Exclusive: Needle Nose Ned’s PiP popup trivia track

  • 6 deleted scenes

  • (HD) BD Previews

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=130726&d=1232646134



Final Thoughts:

Groundhog day is considered by some to be a classic film. I am not so sure that I would elevate it to classic status but I certainly believe that it is a wonderful film that features Bill Murray in a transcendent role. It is one of my favorites among his many and its debut on Blu-ray disc offers fans a chance to see it looking its best. The bonus supplements are the same as those on the 15th anniversary edition DVD and also includes a Blu-ray Disc exclusive. For fans this is a no brainer. If you have never seen it I would recommend you give it a rent.








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post #2 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 08:02 PM
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I love this movie.
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post #3 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 08:02 PM
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Its a Harold Ramis movie on Blu = 1st Day Buy for me.

Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 09:46 PM
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I am glad the disc did not disappoint, and though I bought the 15th Anniversary disc, I will be buying this BD. Any improvement will be justified as this has lots of replay value for me. Thanks for the review!
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post #5 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 10:05 PM
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First day buy for me too. Maybe I'll be trapped in a day where I buy it over and over again.

Thanks for the great review!!!
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-23-2009, 11:04 PM
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I always love this flim.must order this BD immediately,Thank Ralph
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post #7 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 07:11 AM
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Come on Ralph this movie is a 5 easy! This film (and like Bill Murray's character) only gets better with time and has to viewed as a near classic IMHO. Thanks for the review - this is a must buy for me.

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post #8 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 07:49 AM
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Terrific review, Ralph. Your synopsis and your take on the film are spot on. I agree that this film showcases one of my favorite Bill Murray performances. This one, and his performances in Rushmore and Lost in Translation are his best, in my opinion. He is perfect when he is treading that fine line between tragedy and comedy.

Anyway, I also agree with Mr. G. You should have rated the film itself a 5. It's that good.
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Come on Ralph this movie is a 5 easy! This film (and like Bill Murray's character) only gets better with time and has to viewed as a near classic IMHO. Thanks for the review - this is a must buy for me.

Greetings,

Mr. G/Will2007, after reading your posts I gave this some thought. I agree that my rating was too conservative. Thanks for giving me food for thought.

The review has been amended..


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post #10 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 09:15 AM
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And I was saying that I wouldn't be double dipping on older DVDs. Another New Years Resolution out the window.

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post #11 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 12:17 PM
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this is a must buy

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post #12 of 35 Old 01-24-2009, 07:01 PM
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4.5 little thingy's for the movie overall??? I liked this movie alot and can understand it getting high marks, but 4.5??? I can't recall off hand any of your other movie reviews getting this many. Is this the best movie you've ever reviewed Ralph?

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post #13 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

4.5 little thingy's for the movie overall??? I liked this movie alot and can understand it getting high marks, but 4.5??? I can't recall off hand any of your other movie reviews getting this many. Is this the best movie you've ever reviewed Ralph?

Thanks.

Greetings,

yadfgp, it would be cheating if I told you that so you will just have to check out my other reviews to find out.

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post #14 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 03:54 PM
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I love that movie! so good
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post #15 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 04:44 PM
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I loved this movie. And I don't particularly like many of Bill Murray's movies.

In this movie, he is exceptional. He's boorish, he's funny, he's likeable, he's charming.

The movie has lots and lots of laughs. I've got the dvd and watched it at least 10 times. Of my vast dvd collection of 400+, I cannot say that of many films. This film has endured time and NEVER seems old.

IMHO, this blu-ray is a keeper. You will be smiling and laughing and feeling good. Again and again.
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post #16 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 05:47 PM
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This is a great movie. It's one of those that I can watch over and over. It's nice to see a competent blu ray version.
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My Mrs and I make a habit of trying to watch this on or near Groundhog day. Great movie and look forward to buying it on blu.

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post #18 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 07:53 PM
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This movie is special. It is funny, charming...and deeply thought-provoking. A gem!

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post #19 of 35 Old 01-25-2009, 10:13 PM
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"I wasn't just blown up yesterday. I have been stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted, and burned."

As others have said, this movie has tremendous replay value and is a true gem.
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post #20 of 35 Old 01-26-2009, 07:39 AM
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Great comedy! Fact that you're doing so many repeat viewings within the movie doesn't deter from making the movie itself a great repeat viewing pleasure. I can't help myself from watching this movie whenever I catch it flipping channels on dish/cable.

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post #21 of 35 Old 01-26-2009, 06:49 PM
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How come all of these comments are on the movie itself rather than its repackaging in blu ray? As a newcomer to blu ray, I want to know if a several year old movie is really that much better to pay $20 or more for the blu ray version, or can I have the same quality from the dvd?

I will add that I appreciate Ralph taking the time to do such in depth reviews.
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post #22 of 35 Old 01-26-2009, 07:15 PM
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Wow ,just in time for Valentine day and will pick one today.This place in this film look cozy even the cold village.
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-27-2009, 03:27 AM
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I seem to remember Mariska Hargitay is in a tiny roll here..yes?
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-27-2009, 10:34 AM
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Collected!

Cheers
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-27-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbar View Post

How come all of these comments are on the movie itself rather than its repackaging in blu ray? As a newcomer to blu ray, I want to know if a several year old movie is really that much better to pay $20 or more for the blu ray version, or can I have the same quality from the dvd?

I will add that I appreciate Ralph taking the time to do such in depth reviews.

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 27, 2009

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post #26 of 35 Old 01-27-2009, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 27, 2009

Exactly. Ralph points out the specific areas that are improved relative to the DVD, and no one else has a copy yet and thus cannot comment. Whether or not it's worth $20 is not for anyone else to say.
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-31-2009, 01:11 PM
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just got it today fry's has it for $17.99

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post #28 of 35 Old 02-05-2009, 05:40 PM
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I bought this on release day, the deleted scenes are pretty cool although they are rough shots. This really isn't a must have movie for Blu-Ray considering it's almost all dialog and there's only one explosion.

We watch this movie every Feb 2nd so I thought it would be cool to have the HD version. If you are a huge fan of this movie, get it.
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post #29 of 35 Old 02-05-2009, 08:28 PM
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Bought and watched. Video looks terrific, sound is excellent. One feature with the director is new and in high def. A great movie and a must buy. Now, if we can get What About Bob and the Man Who Knew Too Little, my Bill Murray collection will be complete.
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post #30 of 35 Old 02-28-2009, 08:44 AM
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Ive watched this movie more times than any other, well except star wars, Ive never bough it in any format, for $20 on Blue ray its a must buy.
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