Sound & Vision - - ENTERTAINMENT - David Vaughn

Phil Con­nors, a TV weath­er­man from Pitts­burgh, is dis­patched to Punx­sutawney, Penn­syl­va­nia, to cover the an­nual Groundhog Day fes­tiv­i­ties where he’s teamed up with a young and an­noy­ingly cheer­ful pro­ducer and a smart-aleck cam­era­man. With im­pend­ing of­fers from other sta­tions, Con­nors has short-timer’s dis­ease and isn’t what you’d call a pleas­ant guy to be around. In fact, he’s a first-rate pain in the rear whom his co­work­ers want to spend as lit­tle time with as pos­si­ble. Af­ter a sur­prise bliz­zard traps the team in the small town, things go from bad to worse; Phil wakes up the next morn­ing to find it’s Groundhog Day all over again…and again…and again.

Bill Mur­ray has had quite a ca­reer, and Groundhog Day was the ve­hi­cle that showed he was more than just a fun­ny­man. The script from Harold Ramis and Danny Ru­bin plays per­fectly with Mur­ray’s per­son­al­ity. Con­nors goes through sev­eral me­ta­mor­phoses through­out the movie: sar­cas­tic and pompous in the first act, scared and des­per­ate in the sec­ond, and hero in the third. Re­liv­ing the same day pre­sum­ably thou­sands of times would def­i­nitely give a per­son time to re­flect on their life and im­prove them­selves, and that’s ex­actly what hap­pens here. This is more than your av­er­age com­edy.

I have to hand it to Sony on its UHD re­leases—they de­liver a best-in-class ex­pe­ri­ence. In lieu of tak­ing an old 2K scan and up­con­vert­ing it, the stu­dio went through the process of tak­ing the orig­i­nal 35mm el­e­ments and minting a ter­rific 4K scan of the com­edy clas­sic. Some may not like the grainy ap­pear­ance if they’re used to to­day's dig­i­tal pro­duc­tions, but for us old fo­gies, this is how the movies looked when we were grow­ing up. Col­ors are a tad laid-back given the set­tings, but there are a few scenes where the HDR comes into play.

Shock­ingly, Sony pro­vides a Dolby Atmos track as well, which is sur­pris­ing given the genre. Re­gard­less, it’s a wel­come ad­di­tion and sounds fan­tas­tic. Di­a­logue is crys­tal clear, there’s plenty of open­ness in the ex­te­rior shots, and there’s even an ex­plo­sion that has some good LFE punch.

The stu­dio didn’t skimp on any as­pect of this re­lease.

All of the sup­ple­ments are housed on the bun­dled Blu-ray and in­clude an au­dio com­men­tary with direc­tor Ramis, an in­ter­view with the late direc­tor, two fea­turettes, a PIP track (re­mem­ber those), and some deleted scenes. There’s also a UV

Dig­i­tal Copy to re­deem with your fa­vorite stream­ing ser­vice.

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