Groundhog Day: Special Edition

Groundhog Day: Special Edition (1993)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurette, Trailers, Filmographies

With ’Groundhog Day, ’ director Harold Ramis managed to create a film that allowed him – and viewers alike – to explore the eternal question ’What if I had made a different decision?’ The story centers around TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who finds himself trapped in a continuous time warp where is suddenly reliving the same day over and over again with only him knowing that it is happening. Intent on capturing the heart of his producer (Andie MacDowell), Phil gets the chance to try and retry all his advances and take on the day. But ultimately he figures out that he is nothing but a hamster in a running wheel and that everything he tries is pointless… or is it?

After releasing a bare-bones version of the disc four years, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is now serving up a nice Special Edition of this hilarious comedy. The film itself is presented in anamorphic widescreen in the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio in a transfer that is clean and clear for the most part. Some minor grain is evident on occasion but it never gets distracting. Colors are nicely reproduced and always faithful with natural looking fleshtones. Blacks are solid and deep, firmly rooting the image while the highlights nicely balance the picture without blooming. The compression is free of artifacts, making this a very pleasing presentation overall.

This version of the film also includes a remastered 5.1 channel audio track in Dolby Digital. Be advised however, that the DTS audio track advertised on the packaging is missing from the release! The audio is very well balanced, never drowning out dialogues in any way. The frequency response is wide, making for a very realistic presentation with good bass and clear high ends that are never showing any signs of sibilance. The dynamic range is wide although undramatic, and helps further to faithfully reproduce the film’s sonic presentation.

The DVD also contains a commentary track by director Harold Ramis. The track is entertaining and informative as Ramis explains many of the thoughts that went into the creation of the film and the story. As on the other commentary tracks the director recorded for some of his other films, this one is truly enjoyable and works on many layers.

A 25-minute featurette called ’The Weight Of Time’ can also be found on the release, offering additional insight into the production of the film with interview and clips form the movie. The release is rounded out by trailers and filmographies.

This version of ’Groundhog Day’ is nicely replacing the previous release, adding some interesting added features to the disc. The only caveat is that the DTS track is missing from the disc, which would have certainly appealed to many users who may have considered to upgrade to this improved version. Other than that, this is a solid release from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment once again.