4K UHD Review: Fifty Shades Freed

In Blu-Ray’s by Rebecca WrightLeave a Comment

The third and final film adaptation from EL James’ trilogy of zillion selling erotic blockbusters, Fifty Shades Freed is devoid of any spark, sexual or otherwise. Like its predecessor Freed–again directed by James Foley from a screenplay by Niall Leonard–is visually appealing with a bevy of expensive cars, luxurious homes, yachts, and glamorous locales. Aside from that, this would-be erotic thriller is as exciting as watching paint dry.

As the film opens, Seattle’s most eligible bachelor Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades Darker) is tying the knot with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey) via montage over the opening credits, before jetting off to the Mediterranean for a luxurious honeymoon. Back in Seattle, the newlyweds must quickly face “real” life issues. Not only does Anastasia want to resume her career in publishing, but she expresses her desire to have a baby. Talk of a child is particularly unnerving for Christian, who doubts he would make a very good father. That’s probably the smartest thought Christian Grey has throughout the entire trilogy! Anyway, being a father requires providing a different kind of toys than he’s used to.

In the midst of this, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) Anastasia’s former boss who vowed revenge in the previous film, has stolen some important data from Christian’s servers. This is all very concerning, but not enough to keep the couple from having surprisingly bland kinky sex. When Jack does break into their home, he’s quickly and easily apprehended, stopping any real momentum. Like its predecessors, the biggest problem for Fifty Shades Freed is nothing really happens. Jack is set up as a potential villain, but he goes out with a whimper. Much of the film just hammers viewers over the head with what a manchild Christian is. Anastasia is scolded when he learns that she not changing her work email address to her newly married name. He moves around like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way. Frankly, it’s beyond me why Anastasia would even consider having a child with Christian, knowing everything she does about him.

Kudos to Dakota Johnson for giving Anastasia some degree of humanity. I can at least have some empathy for her character. In contrast, Jamie Dornan comes across as wooden. devoid of any real feeling. There’s not much for the strong supporting cast to do here. Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden returns as Christian’s mom, but she appears in just one scene toward end of the film. As I mentioned earlier, Eric Johnson doesn’t get a real chance to be the villain. Hey, at least it looks good!

Presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, Fifty Shades Freed was reportedly photographed at a resolution of 2.8K and finished at 2K. The 4K upscaled 4K release improves on an already impressive 1080p image. There’s a noticeable improvement in overall clarity and level clarity. The image never appears flat and colors are bright and distinct, while blacks are inky. Flesh tones are spot on. If nothing else, Universal is to be applauded for making Fifty Shades Freed so visually appealing.

Fifty Shades Freed features a DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack. Like the video, it’s quite impressive. Music pulses. Vocals are perfectly clear, and the low-end kicks in nicely for added support. Surround sound is effectively used for ambient sounds such as background music, street sounds, ambulance sirens, etc., Overhead channels aren’t used a whole lot, but are called in on certain scenes to allow the music and effects a little more breathing space. Dialogue, presented front and center, is clean, clear and concise throughout.

English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are included.

In a rare move, Fifty Shades Freed contains all the extras from the Blu-ray disc on the UHD disc. The 1080p Blu-ray and a movies anywhere digital copy code are included with purchase. The UHD also contains both cuts of the film: Theatrical (1:45:18) and Unrated (1:50:18).

  • Deleted Scene: Hickey and Apology (2160p, SDR, 1:08).
  • The Final Climax (2160p, SDR, 32:39) A nine-part feature exploring various scenes and exposing a few key elements and secrets. Included are The Wedding, The Honeymoon, Mr. and Mrs. Grey, Ana Takes Charge, Ana & Mr. Hyde, Aspen in Whistler, Ana’s Revelation, Resolution, and The Meaning of ‘Freed.’
  • Christian & Ana by Jamie & Dakota (2160p, SDR, 6:02) The actors discuss their characters.
  • A Conversation with E L James and Eric Johnson (2160p, SDR, 8:52) The author of the Fifty Shades series and the actor who plays Jack Hyde discuss the series prior to this film’s premiere.
  • Music Videos (2160p, SDR) “For You (Fifty Shades Freed)” by Liam Payne & Rita Ora (4:15), “Capital Letters” by Hailee Steinfeld X Bloodpop (3:51), and “Heaven” by Julia Michaels (3:26).

Movie title: Fifty Shades Freed (2018)

Director(s): James Foley

Actor(s): Dakota Johnson , Jamie Dornan , Arielle Kebbel , Tyler Hoechlin, Brant Daugherty , Max Martini

Genre: Erotic, Romance, Thriller, Drama

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