"Fifty Shades Freed" is the climax of the series, based on the novel by E.L. James. Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian (Dornan) and Ana (Johnson) 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. (Gary Reber)
Both the theatrical version (01:45:18) and the unrated version (01:50:18) are available. Special features include a casual conversation between novelist E.L. James and Actor Eric Johnson discussing the movie, favorite moments, themes, etc.; a deleted scene (HD 01:08); 10 featurettes under the heading The Final Climax: "The Wedding" (HD 05:05), "Honeymoon" (HD 03:19), "Mr. & Mrs. Grey" (HD 03:48), "Ana Takes Charge" (HD 03:36), "Ana & Mr. Hyde" (HD 02:56), "Aspen In Whistler" (HD 02:54), "Ana's Revelation" (HD 04:11), "Resolution" (HD 03:48), "The Meaning Of Freed" (HD 03:49), and "Christian & Ana By Jamie & Dakota" (HD 06:02); the music videos "For You" by Liam Payne & Rita Ora (HD 04:15), "Capital Letters" by Hailee Steinfeld & Bloodpop (HD 03:51), and "Heaven" by Julia Michaels (HD 03:26); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in Panavision® using the Arri Alexa XT Plus (2.8K) camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The imagery exhibits excellent clarity and sharpness throughout. Detailing is excellent as well, in both foregrounds and backgrounds. Facial features, makeup, hair, beard stubbles, clothing, and object textures are exemplarily detailed, especially in interior scenes exhibiting fine, lavish, and luxurious furnishings. Close-ups are spectacularly revealing. Environmental scenes also exhibit excellent vibrancy and sharpness, with wealthy environments throughout. Clarity is superb, as in crystal-clear imagery. The color palette is perfectly saturated with rich and warm hues that often pop. Exteriors are often sun-drenched, with brilliant highlights piercing through architectural shapes, enhancing the range of hues. The wide color gamut is evident throughout with a vivid range of both brilliant and nuanced hues. Fleshtones are accurate throughout with a natural essence. HDR contrast is excellent with spectacular dynamics. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is nicely revealing. Whites are brilliant. Throughout, the picture is pristine. WOW! segments are numerous such as 01:16:48 to 01:19:00, 01:50:24 to 01:51:16, 00:59:42 to 01:00:42, 01:19:14 to 01:20:48, and 01:40:25 to 01:41:10. This is a terrific-looking picture that reveals much of the visual qualities of the 4K Ultra HD format with stunning color fidelity, sharpness, clarity, and contrast for a reference-quality visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS:X/DTS:HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with an underlying varied music and orchestral score that provides an effective backdrop. Atmospherics also play an important element to enhance the realism of the production design and various environments depicted, whether street-level city din, office and restaurant chatter, or the sonic chaos in a dance club. Sound effects, such as the roar of an Audi R8 sports engine and the sounds of aggressive driving, add dynamics with enhanced deep bass. Otherwise, bass is pretty much restricted to the music. The music is effectively spread across the soundstage and extends to all four surround channels, but sadly not to the height channels, except for brief vocals. Dialogue throughout is intelligible with good spatial integration.
The Immersive Sound element is poorly executed with little impact or enhancement to spatial dimensionality. This is an example of how object-based formats cannot re-create realistic dimensionality of soundscapes depicted in imagery, as sonics are objects projected overhead and not captured and presented as side height reflections of a real soundscape, which in real life define our sense of hearing. So much in the sound design was not addressed as height sonics. The rundown is limited to spotty music vocals, brief underwater vibrations, brief car noises whizzing in traffic, brief unrelated nosies, distant thunder and rain, and wind and birds chirping—not much in the way of spherical sound enhancement.
The ear-level sonics are pretty conventional but nicely crafted, which makes for a pleasant sonic experience. (Gary Reber)