Monday, May 14, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed 4K Ultra HD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian (Jamie Dornan, “The Fall,” Anthropoid) and Ana (Dakota Johnson, How to Be Single, Black Mass) fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins. Directed by James Foley (“House of Cards,” At Close Range), Fifty Shades Freed also features returning cast members Eric Johnson (“The Knick,” “Smallville”), Rita Ora (Fifty Shades Franchise) as well as Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (Fifty Shades of Grey, Miller’s Crossing).
Film (3 out of 5 stars) 
Fifty Shades Freed introduces the world to Mr. and Mrs. Christian Grey. Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) exchange vows in an in beautiful ceremony before family and friends. Christian whisks his new bride off to a romantic honeymoon in the French Riviera and life is very good for the newlyweds. Their bliss in interrupted when they learn that a fire was set back home in Christian’s office to cover up the theft of digital files. Ana realizes that she knows the perpetrator and the couple cuts the honeymoon short to figure out why her former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), would perpetrate such a crime. 

Jack was fired from Seattle Independent Press after attacking Ana and she has been Acting Fiction Editor ever since. When she returns from her honeymoon, Ana learns that has been promoted and is the new full time Fiction Editor. Now that her husband owns the company, she wants to maintain her own identity and considers keeping her maiden name Anastasia Steele at work. Christian learns that married couples can have disagreements and “talk stuff out” when he expresses to Ana that he wants her to take his last name. 

When Christian hires not one but two bodyguards to keep Ana safe she doesn’t argue. Although Jack got a little handsy in his office when he was Ana’s boss it doesn’t seem like he’d go after her and she can’t think of a reason why he is holding such a grudge against her and Christian. Life goes on in the Grey House. Ana is busy at work and they manage to fit frequent trips to the red room. Ana is building her career, Christian is running his companies and Jack is plotting his revenge. 

To say whether or not these are good movies depends on whether or not you thought the other two movies were good and how you felt about the books. I found the books and the movies to be fun and enjoyable, and never spent much time thinking about what they meant. I realize that Christian Grey being a hot billionaire makes a lot of things okay that might not be if he were poor and/or ugly. I happen to enjoy the books and the characters. Christian Grey, in particular, has taken quite a journey and is at his most lovable in Fifty Shades Freed. He no longer needs to punish and is embracing the role of husband and family man. For those who particularly enjoy the steamy scenes, having an unrated edition, may be a bit of a disappointment. The unrated edition is more of an extended edition with mostly out of the bedroom content added. 
Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars) 
Fifty Shades Freed’s 4K Ultra UHD offers bright colors, starting with the main menu. If you don’t make a comparison between Blu-ray and 4K you probably wouldn’t realize what you’d been missing. The upscaled clarity and sharpness build on the solid image you’ll find on the Blu-ray. Textures in clothing, and various items in the red room show fine detail. Skin tones are even and accurate and black levels are true. 
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars) 
The DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack performs very well for the dialogue driven film with powerful music. Restaurant crowds give the appropriate ambiance and shower scenes drip like you’re in the water too. When Ana races the family sports car you’ll feel like you’re in NASCAR but overall the film is quiet (not an action flick full of gun fire) but well balanced. 
Extras (3 out of 5 stars) 
  • Choose Version of Movie – With this option you can select either the theatrical or unrated versions of the film. 
  • Deleted Scenes: Hickey and Apology (1:09) – A single deleted scene where Christian gives Ana hickeys so she won’t go topless on the beach. 
  • The Final Climax (32:42 total runtime) – Available individually or with a play all function are the following featurettes which include cast and crew interviews: 
    • The Wedding – The Ceremony and all that went into making the beautiful day, include the details of the fantastic dress. 
    • Honeymoon – Honeymooning in the South of France and the related shooting challenges. 
    • Mr. & Mrs. Grey – The apartment of a 28 year old sexually adventurous billionaire changes as he becomes a husband. 
    • Ana Takes Charge – Ana is not just a new wife, but also the new fiction editor. This featurette looks at her office and the style of a young business woman. 
    • Ana & Mr. Hyde – A look at the bad guy and the way he has unraveled throughout the films. 
    • Aspen in Whistler – Whistler Ski Resort in Vancouver doubles for Aspen, where Christian has a vacation home. 
    • Ana’s Revelation – Ana’s unexpected surprise for Christian. 
    • Resolution – The big drama and Ana’s final showdown with Jack Hyde. 
  • The Meaning of Freed – Everyone put their two cents in to explain what this film and the trilogy means. 
  • Christian & Ana by Jamie & Dakota (6:03) – The stars explain their characters, their motivations and what they love about them and each other. Here you’ll learn about what drew the actors to the project and the importance of a close relationship between Jamie and Dakota. Writer E.L. James adds some insight into the characters as well. 
  • Music Videos 
    • “For You (Fifty Shades Freed)” – Liam Payne & Rita Ora 
    • “Capital Letters” – Hailee Steinfeld X Bloodpop 
    • “Heaven” – Julia Michaels 
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars) 
Christian Grey didn’t have a great start in life and describes himself as fifty shades of effed up but he’s come a long way. Fifty Shades Freed is the conclusion of the Christian Grey drama where we get to see if Anastasia putting up with his “eccentricities” was worthwhile. It’s an unconventional romance but if you enjoyed the first two films you should enjoy the finale. The 4K UHD is technically superior to the Blu-ray which is very good in its own right. The extras are interesting but not terribly lengthy. Recommended.

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