Groundhog Day 4K UltraHD

WSR Score4.5
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Some thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(Running Time In Minutes):
101 Minutes
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Harold Ramis
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Bill Murray stars as Phil Connors, an obnoxious, sarcastic television weatherman destined to forecast weather for the rest of his life. While in Punxsutawney to cover "Groundhog Day," a severe winter blizzard hits, one that he fails to predict. Stranded with two of his station associates—one his producer and secret love interest (MacDowell)—he becomes mysteriously stuck in a time warp, repeating the same bizarre day over and over again—until he gets it right. (Suzanne Hodges)

Special features include audio commentary with Director Harold Ramis, "A Different Day"—an interview with Harold Ramis (SD 09:58), two featurettes: "The Weight Of Time" (SD 24:44) and "The Study Of Groundhogs: A Real Life Look At Marmots" (HD 06:24), Needle Nose Ned's Picture-In-Picture track, six deleted scenes (SD 05:53), two previews, BD-Live interactivity and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 UltraHD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm film stock using Panavision cameras and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. While photographed on film, grain is virtually absent. The picture enhances the pleasing quality of the previously reviewed Blu-ray release with a significant improvement in clarity and sharpness. Fleshtones are impressively vivid and natural throughout. Images are sharp and detailed, with excellent HDR contrast and shadow delineation. Bright highlights are vivid and striking. Black levels are deep. Colors are well balanced and nicely saturated with rich and warm hues, as well as with more depth and shading. Colors often pop, especially reds, such as the red flowers in the lapels of the Groundhog Festival. The WPBH Action 9 News van is naturally white. as are the snow-covered street and lawn patches and banks, and the intense white snowy blizzard. Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited throughout in facial features, skin pores, hair, clothing, and objects. A WOW! segment is at the film's end from 01:34:50 to 01:38:18. While there are occasional slight motion artifacts, this is the definitive presentation and the preferred edition, with improved visual characteristics throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack has been remixed for the home theatre environment. The sound has plenty of sparkle in the music score, which is nicely presented, prominently filling the listening space with an abundance of deep bass to boot. The .1 LFE figures quite actively with the music. Atmospheric effects are rather well positioned throughout the dimensional soundstage, serving to impart surround expansion and envelopment. Screen-based imaging is amply wide and with considerable depth. The original recording's somewhat-dated fidelity, which was evident on the original Blu-ray, is no longer and instead, fidelity is excellent.

The Immersive Sound element is satisfying and effectively expands the sense of dimensional sonics. While the music score is predominant, ambient sounds can be heard often during exterior scenes, such as a low-frequency hissing sound. Other sounds include blizzard winds, the police PA on railroad tracks, a loud crashing sound as the alarm clock turns 6:00 AM, a truck crashing, a fire eruption, and ballroom dancers clapping.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable soundtrack with a natural presence filled with great music. (Gary Reber)