Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina
Release Date: March 23, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
After her husband goes missing, Sue Buttons (Allison Janney), an under-appreciated suburban wife, gets a taste of being a local celebrity as she embarks on a city-wide search in Yuba County to find him. In an effort to prolong her newfound fame, she stumbles into hilarious hi jinks as her world turns upside down, dodging a wanna-be mobster (Awkwafina), a relentless local policewoman (Regina Hall), her half-sister (Mila Kunis) a local news reporter desperate for a story, and her husband’s dead-beat brother (Jimmi Simpson), who all set out to uncover the truth behind the disappearance.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ follows quiet, underappreciated suburban housewife Sue Buttons (Janney) who takes advantage of her husband’s disappearance to become a media icon. Setting off a city wide search for her missing husband after finagling her way onto a popular talk show, it soon results in a chain reaction of chaos, violence and uncertainty with Sue right in the middle of it all. As the danger heats up and elements of the truth begin to surface along with criminals that aren’t afraid to kill their way to some answers, Sue must find a way to have everything benefit her story as she quickly finds herself thoroughly enjoying her newfound fame after being disregarded for far too long.
Directed by Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train, Ma) from a screenplay written by Amanda Idoko (TV’s The Mayor), Taylor does a pretty decent job at the helm of ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ embracing the film’s darkly humorous nature and allowing the fun to play out in a fittingly tongue in cheek style throughout. The film also deserves note for the powerhouse cast which features a plethora of noteworthy stars and includes Allison Janney (Bombshell), Mila Kunis (Bad Moms), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Regina Hall (TV’s Black Monday), Wanda Sykes (Jexi), Juliette Lewis (Ma), Samira Wiley (TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale), Jimmi Simpson (TV’s Westworld), Clifton Collins Jr. (Lucky Day), Matthew Modine (Wrong Turn 2021) and Ellen Barkin (TV’s Animal Kingdom) along with more.
‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ is a fun, pitch black comedy that may lose its way or become overloaded in its attempt to tackle too many simultaneous plotlines at times, but provides enough bloody fun and twists to keep you thoroughly entertained throughout. It embraces its dark nature from the onset and is certainly anything but a light-hearted comedy, taking things to dark and sometimes mildly shocking places with a demented sense of humor reminiscent of such dark comedy classics as ‘Very Bad Things’. Even while some of it occasionally feels forced, quite a bit manages to hit the mark if you can appreciate the dark nature of its delivery.
Backed by a star studded cast led by the immensely talented Allison Janney at the forefront, ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ is a wild and ridiculous ride that’s both amusing and enjoyable. I would strongly encourage anyone already at all interested in this dark comedy to ignore the shockingly large number of terrible reviews and give this one a fair chance in order to make up your own mind. Granted it’s not a perfect film in every way, but it’s a great deal more humorous and entertaining than most would lead you to believe. If you can let some of the jumbled storylines and silly attempts to balance things go and you enjoy a pitch black comedy that isn’t afraid to get violent and twisted, then there’s a pretty great chance that you’re going to have a lot of fun with this one.
Overall, ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ is a violent and dementedly funny exploration of our obsession with media and fame, as well as how quickly things can escalate out of control when you go out of your way to twist a bad situation to your benefit. I would definitely recommend ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ to anyone that typically appreciates pitch black comedy films that aren’t afraid to go to some dark and twisted places with the humor. It may have its share of problems, but it’s not nearly the dumpster fire many seem to consider it and I would urge anyone already looking forward to the film not to be dissuaded by the bad reviews it’s amassed on many review aggregator sites since its initial release and just give it a whirl yourself whenever possible.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and offers a clean, colorful and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any notable issues along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the few darkly lit and heavily populated moments throughout, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or problematic. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing fans or first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack compliments the onscreen fun and provides a clean, sharp and fairly active audio presentation throughout. It consistently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send some music, along with gunshots, crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that never disappoints and sounds great every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ does not include any bonus material.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘Breaking News In Yuba County’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from American International Pictures (AIP) & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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