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Groundhog Day (SE)
DVD disk
7 years ago By: Sturdy
Groundhog Day (SE) order
Director:
Harold Ramis

Actors:
Bill Murray
Andie MacDowell
Chris Elliot

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A man finds himself trapped, living the same day of his life over and over. After days of frustration, he finally starts to reflect on his life and what might be wrong with it. Finally, he realizes that he’s been given a second chance to put things right.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Personally, I think that this is Bill Murray at his best. I enjoy the slick, sarcastic Bill Murray that doesn’t take anything too seriously but is grounded in normality. There’s nothing in this movie that is over the top and nothing that could be considered slapstick. This is good, original humor that made for one of the best comedies of the 90’s.

The premise itself is fantastic, although if not done right, could prove to be overwhelming for just about any director. The possibilities are endless for things one could do if they know they wouldn’t suffer any consequences and could start over each day. Originally, this story was told as a horror tale, with the guy trapped in the same day for thousands of years. With a different cast and different circumstances, this premise could work in just about any genre. Luckily, they chose comedy and got Bill Murray to play the lead.

As great as Murray is in this, the movie doesn’t rely solely on him to provide all the laughs. The story is great and there are enough supporting characters that are funny too. But the heart of the film is the story and Harold Ramis does a fine job of crafting a film that is funny and heartfelt at the same time. By the time the funniest moments are done, we still care about what the characters are going through and how they’re going to end up. Too often, comedies die when the jokes are over.

Watching this again reminds me of how much I miss Andie MacDowell. I’ve always liked her and she had a string of hits in the early 90’s that were very memorable. Not a lot is expected of her here, but she’s cute and genuine, which is what this film needed from its female lead. Overall, there’s not a whole lot wrong with this film and it remains one of Bill Murray’s finest.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Harold Ramis: This is carried over from the other release and it’s still a rough commentary track. Harold just doesn’t seem to get into it and struggles to find things to talk about. He really needed someone else in the room with him.

Weight of Time Documentary (24:42): This is also carried over from the previous edition. Bill Murray is awesome and I bet he’s fun to work with. However, he doesn’t like to do anything for his old movies and so he doesn’t show up here. Even with that, you still get some good information here and this is better than most documentaries.

Interview with Harold Ramis (9:58): This looks like a new interview with Ramis, but I’m not so sure about the questions. It doesn’t seem like he’s given much of an opportunity to say anything enlightening about the film. Also, the movie scenes were completely unnecessary.

A Real Life Look at Marmots (6:25): Seriously? Give me a break with this. This is a regular featurette that actually focuses on groundhogs. I don’t know, I guess they were desperate for something else to put on the disc.

Deleted Scenes (5:51): A few of these were really funny! I was actually surprised. I wouldn’t say they were worth buying a copy, but they were pretty good. There were about three more scenes of what Murray was doing after he had spent a long time living the same day over and over.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I think that the previous “Special Edition” of GROUNDHOG DAY is the better value even without the deleted scenes, but if you can’t find it, then this film needs to be part of your collection. However, with the continued lazy video transfer, lack of DTS and weak selection of special features, it might be a better bet to wait for the Blu-ray release.
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