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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2004
This is a universally loved movie which for some reason I've never really wanted to see, but decided that, as a fan of great movies, I had to give it a chance. The film has a great premise and it is executed better than I had anticipated. All in all I found it to be a likeable movie but certainly not the comedic masterpiece that the vast majority of people and reviewers describe this to be.
I know that most who read this will probably think that I must be nuts for just liking this movie, but I just can't see it in the same hemisphere as "Tootsie" (as some have suggested) or even other great low-brown comedies starring Bill Murray. I for one found "Caddyshack", "Stripes" and even "Meatballs" to be hilarious, whereas GD to me seems to be trying to be all things to all people. It's not anywhere as funny, warm, thought provoking or outrageous as it should have been. Since I hate it when reviewers tell to much about a movie, I won't reveal much, but anyone with a heartbeat probably knows that the premise centers around Bill Murray's weatherman character, who finds himself waking up to the very same day over and over again, turning around the general perception that the most horrible thing about life is not knowing what's going to happen next. Here the character knows all too well what will happen and he has the opportunity to see how his actions may or may not have a material impact on said day.
Director Harold Ramis has a very difficult task in trying to not repeat himself too often or the movie would be very tedious. He mostly succeeds by not going back to the well too often and finds the right balance of choosing which moments warrant re-executing and moving the story along by giving us a window to the character's full day. The movie manages to generate a few mild laughs (mostly via its great supporting characters who would be right at home in an episode of "Newhart") and avoids getting too syrupy while making apparently hitting its target. My lack of enthusiasm for the movie comes almost exclusively from Bill Murray's performance as only in the latter part of the film does he come across in a credible way. I found his early acerbic scenes to be almost phoned in as he has done this much better before. Although we are not supposed to like him, I simply found him annoying and not even credible until later in the movie. Andie MacDowell does a very good job as his potentially romantic sidekick and brings a sweetness to a role that is not much on paper. I was disappointed as to how unfunny Chris Elliott was here. Elliott is generally one to make something out of nothing, but here he is so reigned in that he leaves no impression.
Notwithstanding its limitations, this is a movie that you will probably enjoy if you don't go into it with any expectations. It's multilayered, not pretentious, and basically does a good job of executing what it set out to do. Good, yes... Masterpiece....No. I can see the "Not Helpful" tabulations coming from hard-core fans, but I really like this forum and the reviews of others have exposed me to so many different movies/music that I would have never found on my own, but also has helped me stay away from things that reviewers found not so good. In this case, I just want to offer a different perspective on a movie that is so loved by many but just did not do it for me as I would have liked it to be much darker or sunnier, but as it stands it's just cute and passable, which is more than one can say about most movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2002
This is, of course, one of the best Bill Murray movies out there. However, a large part of the reason I buy or rent DVDs is for the extras, and on this DVD, they are just not worth it.
Having listened to excellent commentaries by Harold Ramis before (Bedazzled and Analyze This), I expected this one to be just as good or better, since this is one of my favorite movies. However, the commentary is a disappointment overall. There are a few interesting tidbits here and there, but there are also stretches throughout the movie where Ramis says nothing at all, and times when he recites the dialogue with the actors. Obviously this movie meant a lot to him, and he is understandably entertained by it, but that's not what a commentary is supposed to be about.
There is also a new 25-minute documentary about the making of the movie, which is a nice extra, but nothing great.
If you are a huge fan of this movie, you might want to rent it just for the chance to hear the commentary once and watch the documentary, but if I were you, I wouldn't waste my money buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2003
(Instead of reviewing a film you probably already know, I stick to DVD special features)
Those Extras:
Commentary: Great job from Ramis, who covers all technical, location and casting aspects of this favorite. Pretty much no stone unturned. Ramis is really coming off as one of the better directors to handle DVD running commentaries.
New Interviews: Only half good. I'm getting really sick of the star of the movie not showing up to talk about it. Instead we get McDowell and Tobolowsky---who comes off a little too into the movie---along with Ramis and writer Rubin. The HBO original BTS would've really bouyed this. Glad I taped it back then :).
Overall: Sorry to say that's it. Lacking the ususal fun stuff of a Collector's Edition leaves a fan disappointed. Ramis nearly saves that with his fine effort on the audio track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2003
There is so much to this film! You have the whole "Kabbalah" thing going on. You have the idea of improving yourself. The idea that one small thing you do can impact other people way beyond what one would think. You have the love story... It's just a good film. And it's funny. I am NOT a Bill Murray fan by any stretch, but this is a good flick. Check it out! Deep comedy--but still way funny!
This is my favorite Bill Murray movie. He does an excellent job of playing each scene anew, as well as showing you how terribly trying it would be to repeat the same day OVER and OVER and OVER. He's magnificent in this film.
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on May 1, 2004
In 1993 , director Harold Ramis genius of dark comedies like ''Analyze This'' casted Bill Murray as Phil Connors in this dark but mostly enjoyable movie named GroundHog Day.
Bill Murray plays Phil Connors a weatherman, who covers everything from weather to Ground Day. Phil isn't happy with his life, in fact he realizes that he is repeating the same routine over and over again. From work in the morning,to
talking to the annoying Ned Ryanser( Stephen Tobolowsky), while listening to Sonny and Cher in the morning to covering the stupid GroundHog Day, Phil is repeating the same day over and over again. Of course the irony here as done by the plot, is that he is the only that knows it. It's like an episode the ''Twilight Zone'' (which I reviewed too on other sites). Eventually Phil has a mental breakdown in which he plans to do whatever he wants. He comes completely unglued when realizing how wasted his life had become, and thus wants to change it.
I use the term breakdown because well Phil isn't exactly a nice guy, he's arrogant and obnoxious. We hardly sympathize with this guy, much less that he is miserable. However, the point the movie makes is the guy realizes he has been wasting his life
away and wants to change it, although Phil's change doesn't go ahead smoothly.
He drives reckless around the train tracks, gets arrested, steals a bagfull of money from a couple of dumb cops, charms his way into sleeping with a beautiful young girl and yet finds out that he still isn't happy. Until he puts the moves on Rita (Andy McDowell), his producer. McDowell is the few actresses that I know that has limited acting potential but her beautiful presence can convey some emotions making her sympathetic.
However, in order to get close to Rita, Phil has to get info on her likes and dislikes from her friends. This angle in the movie, really made me a little sick, because even we are suppose to sympathize with Phil, he hasn't really changed all that much. Rita, eventually finds out Phil's motives and slaps him in the face, and telling him to get lost. Phil though in order to impress her and to change himself, starts doing bizarre, yet unreal things that get him attention and he does start to become nicer.
This is where the movie gets ridiculous, because even though this is a comedy, I found the rest of the movie to be predictable, superficial, yet enjoyable
Phil becomes a gifted ice sculpter (who knows where he learned this) as one scene, where his cutting a sculpture of an ice angel is shown. Then Phil saves a guy from choking to death, a kid from a falling tree and a host of other surprises. LOL
Yes Harold Ramis does go a bit over the top with this Phil guy, obviously a lot of the stuff he pulls of is almost impossible giving Phil's background, but Ramis is again trying to show the point (although laughingly bad) that Phil is changing. He now has a heart and will do anything to be with this nice woman and of course by Phil doing this he has filled that empty void that he had when he was repeating the same unfulling routine of covering that stupid Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania.
Still though Ramis does do a good job of making us think about the movie and Phil itself and gives us that scary thought that we perhaps might end up like Phil, a shriveled, ugly man who has been repeating the same stupid routine yet doesn't have the capacity to see that this misery is at his own doing.
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on August 1, 2002
Groundhog Day is a very entertaining film though it's more of a romantic comedy than a plain one. Bill Murray (Stripes and Ghostbusters) is Phil Connors, an insulting and mean news reporter. When he is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover Groundhog Day, he thinks it's going to be a simple come and go routine. However, he gets into a blizzard and is forced to stay. The next day he wakes up and immediately wants to leave when he sees that is Groundhog Day..again. At first he's confused but after waking up each day and seeing that the day is the same as the last one, Connors begins to take advantage and soon turns into a nice and good guy and gets himself the producer (Andie MacDowell, Hudson Hawk) With a good cast including Chris Elliot (Snow Day) as a cameraman and Steven Tobolowsky (Hero) as an idiotic insurance-seller named Ned, this movie is pure fun for the whole family. It's directed by Harold Ramis (Stripes). He makes a brief appearance as a doctor. Very good! Reccomended. Compliment: Kind a get's boring after viewing it about five times.
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on July 17, 2002
Groundhog Day has a great deal of potential, but ultimately fails to live up to its promise. It isn't the concept that falls short; on the contrary, the plot is entertainingly original. Self-centred reporter Phil Connors aims to leave Pennsylvanian backwater Punxsutawney as soon as possible after completing a story on the annual Groundhog Day Festival, but his plans are thwarted when he wakes the following morning and discovers that it's Groundhog Day again. . . . . . . . . . and again. . . . . . . . . . Initially he sees this turn of events as akin to a nightmare, but soon realises that if there's no tomorrow, there are no hangovers and no consequences. . . . . . . . . .
A storyline like this is very amusing per se, and there are some deft touches - such as Phil's audacious money-van heist, which succeeds simply because after innumerable Groundhog Days in succession, he knows Punxsutawney's routines so well. Due to the inherent comedy, Bill Murray's wisecracking attempts as Phil are unnecessary, they don't fit well with his character, and frankly someone making a face like a groundhog isn't that funny the first time, let alone meriting repetition.
Although this is a comedy there are some genuinely thought-provoking issues raised - Phil learns (and through him we realise) that spontaneity can never be choreographed, and an impulsive moment's beauty lies in the fact that it 'just happens'. The film's biggest downfall is its predictability. Despite the various entertaining shenanigans en route, we just know that in the end Phil will have learned some Valuable Lessons and become a Nice Guy.
Overall though, Groundhog Day is a likeable movie, and would leave the viewer with a much greater sense of satisfaction had it - instead of showing the happy couple running hand-in-hand through the freshly fallen snow - used a less trite finale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2004
Groundhog Day was filmed in my hometown, Woodstock Illinois (NOT Pennsylvania)! Yes, this town is really as pretty as seen in the movie. Come visit us won't be sorry! Oh, and the movie was pretty good, but I got a little "snoozy" at the repetive nature of it (and,yes, I know it was supposed to be that way). Overall, not a bad flick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2002
To all potential buyers. This DVD does NOT include the DTS track.
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