One of the greatest comedies of all-time is now 25 years old – and we get the presents! It’s the classic – and still wonderful – tale of Bill Murray living the same day over and over (director Harold Ramis claimed it was actually some 10 years’ worth), but how does Groundhog Day hold up on 4K Ultra HD? Is it “Bing!”, or bung?
The story: It’s pretty simple, at least on the surface. Weatherman Phil is a bit of a self-absorbed slimebag, sulking about heading to the small town of Punxsutawney for their annual Groundhog Day festival. It’s a day on which a groundhog exits his burrow and if he spots a shadow he’ll retreat for another six weeks, meaning more winter. No shadow? it’s time to spring into spring! It’s also a day that Phil will live over and over and over again, gradually becoming a better person as he falls for his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell), while trying on all sorts of worse person personas as he goes. After all, no matter what extreme he goes to, he’ll just wake up once again to the dulcet tones of Sonny and Cher the next morning. But will he ever wake up next to Rita?
“Well, it’s Groundhog Day… again.”
The 4K disc: To be honest, when the movie started we were worried, with things appearing noticeably grainy as the titles rolled through. But then the skies cleared and we were left with a fine film grain for the rest of the film that was barely discernable. Sony have a reputation for brilliant pure 4K transfers of their back catalogue, and this one keeps that tradition alive. The HDR enhancement does what it has to, being most noticeable when it comes to the odd bit of neon and its specialty, that twinkle in the eyes. Continuing to treat a classic movie as it deserves to be treated, a new Dolby Atmos sound mix has been crafted for this release. Proving that you don’t need a thumperama action flick to make great use of the format, it allows the movie to envelope viewers. You’ll feel like you’re really at Gobbler’s Knob when The Pennsylvania Polka gets going – better rug up!
Release date: March 7, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.