Senior HTF Member
- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
Groundhog Day Special Edition
I will not hesitate to admit that this one
of my all-time favorite comedies, and I am
certain, it ranks high amongst many of you.
And why not? Groundhog Day is one of
the most unique comedies ever made in that it
is a though experiment of sorts that makes us
take a look within ourselves and see how some
uncertainties may prevent us from being good doer's.
Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is a sharp-witted
weatherman for a local station. Sent out on an
assignment to cover Punxsutawney's Groundhog's Day
festivities, the day ultimately become's Phil's
worst nightmare. An unexpected blizzard traps
Phil in in town, and he is forced to stay at the
Things soon to go from bad to worse as the
next morning Phil awakens to discover it's
Groundhog's Day all over again...and again...and
again. Each day he relives the same events as
before until he discovers the only change that
can happen is within himself.
The film's perfectly cast co-stars include Andie
MacDowell as his Producer and Chris Elliott as his cameraman.
Generally I am strongly against studios rereleasing
product to DVD, calling it a SPECIAL EDITION, and
only tacking on a few bits of added content. My
first fears were that this was exactly what Columbia
was doing. After all, their original 1997 DVD
release was regarded as being visually near-perfect.
I compared the original 1997 release to this new
Special Edition. The source material is exactly
the same. I noticed the same film blemishes in
the exact same places on both discs. And while
I wish I had two DVD players of the same make that
I could make side-by-side comparisons, switching
between the two discs, I found improvement with
this new release.
The Special Edition boasts a brand new anamorphic
(1.85:1) transfer. This release slightly improves
upon the older video transfer, with more natural
looking colors, especially in the flesh tones. The
new transfer has a much cleaner look to it, erasing
some of the slightly noticeable graininess of the
What you will certainly find more pronounced on
this Special Edition is the 5.1 Dolby Digital Mix.
I could immediately hear a more robust sonic
improvement all across the soundfield, especially
in the music tracks where my SV Subwoofer was
producing some nice bass response.
Now, did I miss something here? The back cover
states there is a 5.1 DTS track on this disc. I
will be absolutely damned if I could find it.
The Language menu gives you a choice of
DOLBY SURROUND and DOLBY DIGITAL. Where then is
the DTS track selection? Did Columbia forget to
include this track? Either I'm alerting the media
of a huge mistake or I am going to look like an
idiot if someone else's copy has a DTS track on it.
To begin with, the DVD starts with a rather cute
animated sequence from Channel 9 News that brings
up a map of the town with cross-streets, and heads
of the characters popping out of animated cars and
The Weight of Time is a really fun newly
produced 30-minute documentary that has some neat
surprises and one noticeable omittance. The
documentary starts from the beginning as writer
DANNY RUBIN and Director HAROLD RAMIS talk about
the film's original script treatment and how much
it had changed by the time Ramis had reworked it.
Joined by actress Andie MacDowell and Actor Stephen
Tobolowski (the nerdy NED the insurance salesman),
we hear about the antics that went on around the set,
as well as how the filming location was selected,
and the cold weather that plagued them. Hidden
within this documentary are many short outtakes from
the film that are quite funny, including a montage of
outtakes where Murray and MacDowell are trying to warm
up from the cold. Noticeably absent from all this is
Bill Murray, who I suppose could not be secured for
There is a running audio commentary from Director
Harold Ramis included for the first time.
There are three Trailers that include
It Could Happen To You; Peggy Sue Got Married
and of course, the original Groundhog Day
A Filmography is also included for Director
Ramis and all the three major stars of the film.
Normally I don't advocate taking a good DVD
release and trying to squeeze more out of it a
second time around. However, in this case, this
is a Special Edition that while not overly packed
with extras, boasts what seems to be a cleaner
transfer and souped up audio as well as a really
I still want to know where the DTS track is
on this release and I caution all of you to
investigate this problem before considering
purchase based upon what the specs indicate.
Release Date: January 29, 2002