Just when you have all but given up on watching something that genuinely surprises you, a movie like Spontaneous shows up at your door. Charming romantic comedies typically do not share narrative DNA with bloody horror films, but this film proves that maybe it should happen more often. The idea of spontaneous combustion can be a little tough to take seriously, but the film does a deft job of establishing the tone of the film early on so that you can easily hop on board. The film has a wicked sense of humor that embraces the absurdity of the situation. Spontaneous does not take the easy way out when it comes to tackling larger themes, and the picture is that much stronger because of it. You fall in love with the characters while watching the film, but you also get some food for thought when it comes to how you should approach life. These messages would not be nearly as effective if they were not being brought to life by incredible actors like Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer. Langford first swept us away in 13 Reasons Why, and she has only grown more accomplished since then. Spontaneous offers up some hilarious thrills, but ultimately it is a rich narrative radiating positivity and hopefulness. Can you really ask for more at this time?
For more in-depth thoughts on Spontaneous, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here.
Spontaneous comes to DVD with a 480p transfer that is quite beautiful for the format. This DVD offers up an impressive amount of detail from the production design to clothing. Compression artifacts are present without being overwhelming. Black levels are quite strong with only a minimal amount of blocking. Colors are nice and fairly vibrant, especially in the brightly daytime scenes that serve as the primary setting for the film. The crimson of the blood also pops off the screen, no pun intended. Skin tones look natural, and there are some decent facial details present. This presentation is just about as good as a DVD can look. This would have made for an excellent looking Blu-Ray, though.
The DVD comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio track that sounds pretty great. The film is mostly dialogue driven, but the actual spontaneous combustion moments and music in the film gives the track some life. Dialogue is mixed well and comes through crystal clear without ever being stepped on by the score or any sound effects. The score from Joseph Trapanese provides an effective undercurrent throughout the movie that fills the surround speakers. Directionality is rendered accurately so that sounds originate from all the natural spots. Environmental sounds such as background chatter add a dynamic touch to the proceedings. Although there is not constant activity in the track, it presents the movie exactly as it was intended and that is really all you can ask. The disc also includes optional English SDH, Spanish, French and Portugese subtitles.
There are no special features included on this disc.
Spontaneous is the type of inventive storytelling that you love to see. Teen movies can easily be uninspired or tone deaf, but this film takes a standard genre such as the rom-com and puts an exciting twist on it. The cast of this one is just such a joy to watch, and their natural chemistry with one another is one of the highlights of the film. If you are unsure about the slightly morbid premise, give the film a chance as it truly is a hilarious, heartwarming gem. Paramount Picture Home Entertainment has provided a solid DVD presentation of the film, but it would have been awesome to get this one on Blu-Ray. If you need something fun and charming in your life, this one should more than do the trick. Recommended
Spontaneous is currently available to purchase on DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the DVD.
Disclaimer: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.