Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Groundhog Day (15th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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on June 4, 2002
I'm going to forego a review of the movie. Let others do that. Here's my input on the bonus stuff:
What's good:
"The weight of time" documentary - What makes this documentary somewhat unique, is that it allows the screenwriter some screen time to convey what his vision of the movie would have been. It's a gutsy move that Ramis allowed this on his film, since the original concept of Groundhog Day was far darker than the final product. It's an interesting watch, although it would have been nicer if Bill Murray made an appearance in the documentary.
Director's commentary: Ramis' approach is to tell small anecdotes about minor characters, how people were cast, how the scenes were filmed, etc. It's interesting and entertaining in its own right. He doesn't just drone on and on like many directors do. I think his acting and comedy background helps make him be more interesting, personable, and accessable for viewers to listen to.
What's lousy:
I'm probably alone on this, but the animated menus are annoying, silly, and slow. You have to wait for the animation to get going before you're allowed to make your choice. It'd be forgivable if there were any easter eggs hidden, but I know of none. So, it's just annoying.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 14, 2007
I might be making a bold claim saying this is the best Bill Murray film of them all. Many people would call me on that with films that showcase his sophomoric hijinks like Stripes or Ghostbusters. Some may look at his more slightly more refined character works like What About Bob? and Scrooged as their hits. To me Groundhog Day tops them all. This is because not only do you have Bill Murray doing a perfect performance, but also because the content itself (and the writing behind it) takes this movie to the next level.

Groundhog Day is a morality piece done in the vein of a classic Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode. I kind of "what if...?" sort of tale that puts a generally successful and selfish man (played by Murray) into a hopeless situation of never being able to escape a single day in a small town. On the surface the story it looks like a situation comedy with Murray's character living the same Groundhog Day over and over. However the further you go into the movie you get some true and believable character development. The fact Bill pulls it off convincingly as well as with his classic entertaining wit is what makes the movie shine.

Don't think of the movie as just some lesson to learn and take with you. While it does have that they don't preach it to you. You figure the lessons out along with Phil (Murray), and that makes for a rather deep experience. The movie at its core is a comedy, and it's such a good comedy it's rating among the top comedies of all time by various film associations. It's not just a comedy either as it also has a healthy dose of romance in it. So much romance that it can pass off as a "chick flick" for those who are into that. So I guess you can say Groundhog Day is a romantic comedy/Twilight-Zonesque/morality play.

The other actors do great as well, including co-star Andie MacDowell, supporting actors Chris Elliot (as the cameraman), Brian Doyle-Murray (mayor of the city) Stephen Tobolowsky (old high school associate) and others. The movie was directed by Murray's cohort in Ghostbusters and Stripes Harold Ramis, which makes me wonder if the role was made for Bill. Production itself is very solid. You won't find it winning awards for costumes, sets or special effects. At the same time you won't find any production values detracting from the story; they only serve to enhance it.

This 15th Anniversary Edition will be digitally remastered (overseen by Ramis himself) and will include a host of special features including:

- Commentary by director Harold Ramis (not sure if it's a new commentary or if it will be the same commentary from the last Special Edition DVD)

- The Study of Groundhogs: A Real Life Look at Marmots

- A Different Day: An Interview with Harold Ramis

- Making of Documentary

- Weight of Time documentary

- Newly discovered deleted scenes

The Weight of Time documentary was in the Special Edition DVD, but aside from that and the commentary this DVD has all new special features. The fact there are deleted scenes on this edition is enough to make me very curious on what we missed.

This movie is a must have. Any Bill Murray fan should be required to see this movie. As far as which version to get I would say the 15th Anniversary Edition, at it is the best bang for your buck. If only they didn't use such an overly airbrushed picture for the cover. That is about the only thing about this DVD that stinks.
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on February 29, 2004
I'm a die-hard movie junkie and can say without reservation that this movie is among the most hilarious ever made.
The very simple story is one where Bill Murray plays a self-consumed, hyper-cynical, and arrogant weatherman with a mean streak who finds himself paying out some sort of karmic debt by having to live through the same day (Groundhog Day) again, and again, and again, and....
The phenomenon strikes him with terror (few play "overwhelmed" better than Murray) at first, which is very funny material, but it's when he becomes accustomed to his seeming immortality and liberty from consequence that things really get unbearably funny.
This movie is fantastic in that it can be watched casually, as it's chock full of slapstick style entertainment (no offense to Bill Murray, but just looking at his face makes me laugh, great expressions...); but what really endeared this movie to me was the lesson I think is wrapped up in all the humor. I think the movie is about "appreciation". Appreciation for the value of every days potential (I know that sounds cheesy), appreciation for those around you that so easily fall into the background from all the noise of our environment, but most of all, appreciation for the difference between doing the right thing and the wrong thing. This movie smartly creates a "clean A/B lab". In the first lab, you have a bunch of failed attempts to create the perfect day. And finally, all those attempts are contrasted against the control group...a perfectly lived day, one where all the latent opportunities we don't even see are exploited...
And what a difference a day can make.
I hope you enjoy as much as I did...
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 26, 2009
I might be making a bold claim saying this is the best Bill Murray film of them all. Many people would call me on that with films that showcase his sophomoric hijinks like Stripes or Ghostbusters. Some may look at his more slightly more refined character works like What About Bob? and Scrooged as their hits. To me Groundhog Day tops them all. This is because not only do you have Bill Murray doing a perfect performance, but also because the content itself (and the writing behind it) takes this movie to the next level.

Groundhog Day is a morality piece done in the vein of a classic Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode. I kind of "what if...?" sort of tale that puts a generally successful and selfish man (played by Murray) into a hopeless situation of never being able to escape a single day in a small town. On the surface the story it looks like a situation comedy with Murray's character living the same Groundhog Day over and over. However the further you go into the movie you get some true and believable character development. The fact Bill pulls it off convincingly as well as with his classic entertaining wit is what makes the movie shine.

Don't think of the movie as just some lesson to learn and take with you. While it does have that they don't preach it to you. You figure the lessons out along with Phil (Murray), and that makes for a rather deep experience. The movie at its core is a comedy, and it's such a good comedy it's rating among the top comedies of all time by various film associations. It's not just a comedy either as it also has a healthy dose of romance in it. So much romance that it can pass off as a "chick flick" for those who are into that. So I guess you can say Groundhog Day is a romantic comedy/Twilight-Zonesque/morality play.

The other actors do great as well, including co-star Andie MacDowell, supporting actors Chris Elliot (as the cameraman), Brian Doyle-Murray (mayor of the city) Stephen Tobolowsky (old high school associate) and others. The movie was directed by Murray's cohort in Ghostbusters and Stripes Harold Ramis, which makes me wonder if the role was made for Bill. Production itself is very solid. You won't find it winning awards for costumes, sets or special effects. At the same time you won't find any production values detracting from the story; they only serve to enhance it.

This 15th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition is a step up in the visual department from the latest DVD release, but don't expect any night and day differences. Some scenes are still a bit grainy and the color isn't as sharp as you find with newer movies on Blu-Ray. Then again this is a 15 year old movie. The Dolby 5.1 audio is the same as the previous 15th Anniversary DVD release. Then again the movie really wasn't meant to test your sound system. You get a lot of the same features as previous DVDs along with some new stuff. Here's a rundown:

- Needle Nose Ned's Picture-in-Picture Track: Old Ned the insurance dude pops up in the movie from time to time with either some tidbits about the movie or asking you questions about the movie. This feature is a Blu-Ray exclusive.

- Commentary by director Harold Ramis: It's the same one as the other DVDs. Informative in most places and a bit dull in others.

- The Study of Groundhogs A Real Life Look at Marmots: It's virtually a mini-National Geographic special on groundhogs.

- A Different Day: An Interview with Harold Ramis: This featurette has tons more information about the movie. Plus it's faster to sit through than the commentary.

- Weight of Time documentary: Making of documentary with interviews of the cast and crew as well as some funny outtakes by Murray.

- Deleted scenes: Six scenes that total out to about 5 1/2 minutes of footage. Most of the deleted scenes would have been nice to see on an extended mix. Although one 16 second deleted scene I am glad they did without.

- BDLive: For those of you who actually care about this function. It's just a way for you to send content over to friends and stuff about the movie.

This movie is a must have. Any Bill Murray fan should be required to see this movie. The Blu-Ray treatment is only a minor improvement to the previous 15th Anniversary DVD release, but it is a noticeable difference visually. Too bad they are still using the same butt-ugly airbrushed looking cover on the Blu-Ray disk. If you already have the 15th Anniversary DVD that was released earlier this year I don't know if the improvements are enough for the double (or triple) dip. If you have any version prior to that I would strongly recommend taking the plunge and go for the Blu-Ray (provided you have the high definition hardware for it).
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VINE VOICEon April 3, 2008
This is without a doubt the best film I have seen starring Bill Murray. It has a powerful combination of great writing, a wonderful cast, and even a lesson to learn. It also has a nice combination of comedy and romance, so that neither are neglected. Bill Murray is phenomenal! He starts out this shallow shell, and undergoes character development and change, but it is gradual and believable. Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot were great choices for supporting characters.
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on January 20, 2000
Arrogant and self centred TV weatherman Phil Connors is given a chance to fundamentally change himself in this reworked and updated version of Dickens a Christmas Carol.
What would you do if you had the gift (or more likely the curse) of immortality but were condemned to spend it in the same tiny provincial town and to re-live the events of one isolated day? Phil goes through the whole spectrum of emotions as he tries to come to terms with his unique predicament. Frustration, anger and rock bottom despair. Eventually he comes to accept his lot and starts to enthusiastically indulge himself in a completely selfish manner. He tries desperately to seduce Rita his producer, but she always manages to see through his veneer of pleasantness to the ugly character underneath. Its hard not to be moved by Phil's despair when the Ray Charles track `You don't know me' is played. Much much later on he stops thinking of himself and begins unselfishly to help the townspeople through their day. As in life we reap what we sow, and Phil is eventually rewarded for his new found humanity.
Groundhog Day is a truly great film and it works on many levels, as a black comedy, a love story, and a spiritual journey. It's one of those rare films that you can watch over and over and still feel it's impact. Bill Murray deserved an Oscar for his performance and the supporting cast were totally solid too. I defy anyone to see the Ned Ryerson character (needle nose Ned, Ned the head) and not feel the urge to damage him in some way. Buy this classic film and enjoy it forever.
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on February 3, 2002
"Groundhog Day" is a movie that's aged really well in the past nine years, and I think will be looked back on as a classic comedy in a few decades. Using a relatively simple plot device (Bill Murray's arrogant, pesudocosmpolitan character living the same day over and over in a small Midwestern town), Harold Ramis created a silly, sweet, touching romantic comedy that is endlessly rewatchable.
That said, though, I would've expected a great deal more from a 'Special Edition' of such a well-loved movie. The main differences between this release and the original DVD release of a few years ago are the addition of a commentary track by Harold Ramis and a half-hour or so behind-the-scenes documentary. The menus are also now animated and there are a few filmographies and trailers for other movies added, but these hardly help with the "Special Edition" status the disc is given. The commentary track gives some interesting info on the movie, but Ramis spends a lot of time talking about the background actors and eventually wears a bit thin on the anecdotes. If they could have gotten Bill Murray or Chris Elliott (or even Stephen Tobolowsky) to do the commentary track with him, it would've covered over a lot of the silences and helped with the narrative style, which Ramis keeps very light. Nonetheless, Ramis's fondness for the movie comes out quite cleary, and he's still fun to listen to. The documentary falls a bit flat in that in covers much of the same ground as the commentary track. Save the few behind-the-scenes photos and outtakes, there's little there that Ramis doesn't discuss in his commentary. Even more disappointing is that both refer to scenes that were shot and not used that do not appear in a 'Deleted Scenes' section.
If you liked the movie, but haven't picked the DVD up yet, I recommend getting this version over the original release. If you already own the original DVD, though, there's little reason to pick this one up unless you're a huge fan of the movie. I, for one, hope they eventually release a true 'Special Edition' with deleted scenes, press materials, the script (both Danny Rubin's original and with Ramis's revisions) and everything else we've come to expect from truly first-rate 'Special Editions' - which this one sadly isn't.
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on November 7, 2003
This movie is terrific. It should be up there with the classics like "It's A Wonderful Life" -- except that people don't normally think of settling down to watch movies on February 2nd!
The set up is wonderfully original. A day, repeated over and over, and not even a nice day, not even a special day, but February 2nd, in a small town in Pennsylvania, in a place our weatherman hates. And our weatherman fights against it in every which way he can -- trying to amuse himself with stealing money, riding on railroad tracks, using his knowledge to sleep with women (heck, he only has one day in which he can woo them), theorizing that he has to kill the groundhog in order to end his repetitious hell, and finally trying to kill himself, over and over, out of despair. Finally he learns to accept it, uses his time wisely, and then starts truly giving to people, becomes a real member of the town which he originally hated.
The idea could have gotten old, though, if the acting or the directing had been less than perfect, but it is not; it is wonderful instead, with nuance after nuance. Even when it feels forced, as if Bill Murray is acting, it works, because our weatherman would have felt as if he were acting as he repeated the day over and over. One of the sweetest moments comes near the end as Murray says: "I said stay and you stayed? I can't even make a collie stay."
Most of all, it makes you think, with dîalogue like: "I'm a God. I'm not THE God. At least, I don't think I am..." and "Maybe God doesn't have any special powers, either. Maybe he's just been around a long time..." and Andie's question: "Is this what you do with eternity?"
Worth seeing. Over and over.
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on February 16, 2002
This is one of my all time favorite movies and I was very excited to see it released as a "Special Edition" DVD.
Unfortunately, while it's still a GREAT story -- this version of the DVD really doesn't have that many whistles and bells. It gives you the option to have Harold Ramis (the director) do a voice over during the movie and it has a brief documentary about the concept behind the movie. Andie McDowell and the guy who plays "Ned the Insurance Man" were the only actors they got to speak about the making of this movie. It was very disappointing to have Bill Murray missing, or even Chris Elliot for that matter.
One would think this movie had plenty of funny outakes -- but they are AWOL as well.
Buy this DVD if you love the movie "Groundhog Day" -- but don't expect much in the way of extras.
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on October 12, 2000
In a time when so many "comedies" are front loaded with their best material and then weakly trail off, this film is a good example of how a movie can start off hilariously then proceed to get funnier and funnier as it goes along! The supporting cast does a fine job, but this film is essentially a Bill Murray showcase. Watching his character Phil's various approaches to the bizarre Twilight Zone episode he finds himself in is not only funny but at times very insightful. After periods ranging from taking advantage of the situation to suicidal despair, Phil finally decides to start working on himself. When his diligent efforts at self improvement make him the toast of the town that he initially hated but has since come to love, the once unattainable goal of getting the girl of his dreams becomes virtually effortless. It's a rare film indeed that can be so highly entertaining while driving home such an important point. Bravo to Bill Murray and also to Harold Ramis for his excellent directing of a highly original film.
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