Fifty Shades Freed 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The third and mercifully final film in the Fifty Shades trilogy is more of the same. Those that feel like there’s an ounce of romance in the first two films or that they are somehow a reflection of love or eroticism will no doubt make all the same excuses to enable themselves to appreciate FIFTY SHADES FREED. However, if you hated the first two films and recognized them for being poorly written, terribly acted and troubling for their passing of violent, possessive behavior as love, you will no doubt recognized all of the same flaws in the third film.
With continually diminished returns at the box office, it’s clear the franchise wasn’t able to hold its audience, or maybe the audience skipped the theater and waited for the home video. Either way, I can’t imagine the urgency to find out how the series ended was there for anyone outside of the die hard fans. After suffering through the third film, I’ve come to realize that there was nothing really to look forward to. The third film is a straight continuation of the second film, which had no plot, character development or story. Like the second film, FIFTY SHADES FREED is just a series of random sex scenes intermixed with awkward pauses on actor’s faces. Throw in a kidnapping plot that offers zero intensity and dialogue that makes you want to slice your ears off and you have what feels like poorly written Twilight fan fiction. Hmmmmm…
The third film sees our leads, Christian and Anastasia, married and coming to terms with married life. You see, Christian is still overbearing and possessive and has zero respect for Anastasia, despite verbally telling her otherwise. Anastasia seems to like to “disobey” Christian, usually to her detriment. But it’s okay because Christian has hired people to watch her every move and he always shows up to rescue her. When she doesn’t need him, he’s possessive, but when she does, he’s her knight in shining armor. Funny how that works out.
In the background of the film is the mean ole Hyde, who is still bitter about being fired and also has some sort of weird, old vendetta against Christian. He devises a plot to stalk/get back at Anastasia and Christian which comes to a head in the third act. It’s a terrible plot, makes zero sense and is thwarted quickly, but it’s as close as you can get to suspense in these films, so let’s just be thankful for we got. Of course, much like the first two films, there’s a lot of sex scenes and while I appreciate sex scenes as much as the next guy, I’m still amazed at how terrible these scenes are. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan still have zero chemistry and their onscreen sex scenes feel so uncomfortable, it’s like watching your parents have sex. The third film does manage to have more sex scenes and incorporates them at even more random times throughout the film.
Once again, I recognize the Fifty Shades franchise has its legion of fans, but whatever you like about this film, there are so many films out there that do everything so much better. Whatever your tastes or whatever you’re into, there’s something better than this.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is a 2K upscale that looks surprisingly good on 4K, especially during the frivolous pick-up shots around Europe and the wide shots of the Aspen countryside. Closeups offer a nice uptick in detail, but for me, the improvements always come in the surroundings and the settings. At times, there’s almost a 3D effect thanks to the clarity and for a movie like this, that surprised me. But this is a nice looking 4K transfer.
Audio: The DTS:X track doesn’t get much of a workout except when random music starts playing (several scenes play out more like music videos). During those scenes, the surround speakers come through and the audio is pretty impressive. Outside of the music, the track is still nice.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include all of the following special features which are also found on the included Blu-ray:
Deleted Scene (1:08): A quick deleted scene with more uncomfortable and poorly delivered dialogue.
The Final Climax (32:40): A total of nine features that covers the making of key scenes.
Christian and Ana by Jamie and Dakota (6:00): The two stars talk about their characters.
A Conversation with EL James and Eric Johnson (8:50): The author and the actor that played Jack talk about the series leading up to the release of the film. What an odd combination.