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Tate Taylor
Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina
Writing Credits:
Amanda Idoko

When her husband suddenly vanishes, Sue Buttons finds she enjoys her newfound fame.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 3/23/2021

• None


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Breaking News In Yuba County [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 12, 2021)

With Allison Janney as the lead, we get a star-studded cast for 2021’s Breaking News In Yuba County. A mix of comedy and thriller, the film introduces us to Sue Buttons (Janney), an unassuming, timid suburban wife.

Sue’s husband Karl (Matthew Modine) goes missing. Inevitably, law enforcement gets involved, and the case brings lots of press attention as well.

After years in her spouse’s shadow, Sue finds that she enjoys all this attention. As such, she concocts a mix of ways to keep the missing person case alive so she can remain in the spotlight, all with a slew of unanticipated consequences.

News received no theatrical exhibition, and that might stem from the restrictions related to the COVID pandemic. A whole bunch of movies went straight to video after the “lockdowns” of 2020, so perhaps it shouldn’t shock that News joined that club.

Still, given the flick’s pedigree, I do feel surprised that News got so little attention. For one, Tate Taylor – the man behind hits like The Help and Ma - directed it.

For another, News boasts a strong cast. In addition to Janney and Modine, we get “names” like Awkwafina, Mila Kunis, Ellen Barkin, Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, Juliette Lewis and others.

That might not become the most star-studded group of actors ever, but it still offers a high-powered group. All this talent seems like a cast and crew that would muster at least a moderate theatrical run in the US.

Perhaps News went straight to video simply because it’s not very good. While it comes with occasional entertainment, the movie flails too much of the time.

Expect a serious Coen brothers feel, with a particular nod toward Burn After Reading. Both offer the same form of arch, ironic dark comedy.

Unfortunately, News just can’t make this work. It shoots for a wildly quirky feel but it lacks an organic impression, so it seems kooky for kooky’s sake.

Taylor just feels like a pretender behind the camera. He appears to do better with more earnest material, so here, I get the impression he wants to shoot for a cynical vibe that he can’t achieve.

In addition, the ensemble plot fails to gel. While Sue sits at the core, News casts a broad net, and this means we get sketchy characters without much depth.

The overqualified cast helps make these roles more interesting than should probably become the case. Nonetheless, they can only do so much.

Despite these flaws, News manages moderate entertainment – again, largely due to the charms of the actors. This doesn’t seem like enough to turn the movie into anything more than a sporadic pleasure, though.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus F

Breaking News In Yuba County appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with solid visuals.

Sharpness maintained a high caliber of clarity. Interiors occasionally looked slightly mushy, but the majority of the flick seemed well-defined. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws also failed to appear.

As usual, teal and amber dominated the palette. Despite the tedious nature of those choices, the colors looked well-represented for what they were.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while low-light shots offered appealing delineation. This turned into a more than satisfactory image.

Though not as memorable, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine for the material at hand. Music dominated and used the various speakers well.

Effects got less to do and usually offered general ambience. That left us without much in terms of auditory fireworks, though the occasional violent segment boasted greater involvement.

Overall audio quality seemed good, and speech was natural and concise. Music sounded peppy and full, while effects seemed acceptable.

As mentioned earlier, these elements lacked much to stand out from the crowd, but they appeared accurate enough. This all added up to a “B“ soundtrack.

No extras appear here – not even simple previews.

With a stellar cast, Breaking News in Yuba County manages some entertainment value. Unfortunately, it feels too thin and derivative to amount to much. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio but it lacks any bonus materials. Given the talent involved, News disappoints.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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