Fifty Shades Freed appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given that Freed came from the same crew as Darker, it provided very similar picture and audio – so similar that I essentially went the cut and paste route for my technical comments. Enjoy!
From start to finish, sharpness looked good. Only a little softness affected wide shots, and those examples occurred too infrequently to cause problems. Instead, the film looked concise and well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.
In terms of colors, the movie featured a palette that favored a mix of ambers and teal, with an emphasis on the former tones. Across the board, the hues looked fine within those parameters.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. I thought the movie consistently looked positive.
As for the movie’s DTS-X soundtrack – which downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system – it seemed fine but it didn’t excel due to a lack of ambition. Like most character dramas, the movie featured a limited soundfield that favored the forward channels.
The mix showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides. Panning was strong, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. Not much came out in an engaging way, as even a car chase felt restrained.
Audio quality appeared good, as speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion.
Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.
This package includes two versions of Freed. In addition to the movie’s theatrical edition (1:45:18), we find a Director’s Cut (1:50:18). Because I only watched the longer rendition, I can’t directly compare the two, but I wanted to mention that both appear here.
One Deleted Scene lasts one minute, eight seconds. Called “Hickey and Apology”, it offers a silly expansion to an existing scene.
Under the banner The Final Climax, we find nine featurettes that fill 32 minutes, 39 seconds with notes from director James Foley, production designer Nelson Coates, set decorator Carolyn 'Cal' Loucks, costume designer Shay Cunliffe, director of photography John Schwartzman, producer Marcus Viscidi, author EL James, screenwriter Niall Leonard, and actors Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Victor Rasuk, Rita Ora, and Eric Johnson.
“Climax” follows various scenes in the order presented in the movie and focuses on story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and costumes and production design. These tend to feel “meat and potatoes”, so they don’t deliver a lot of depth, but they cover the production in a competent manner.
For more from the actors, we get Christian & Ana by Jamie & Dakota. It goes for six minutes, two seconds and brings notes from Johnson, Dornan, Foley and James as they discuss the lead characters. Don’t expect a lot of insight, as the show lacks much useful material.
A Conversation with EL James and Eric Johnson lasts eight minutes, 52 seconds. It gives us a chat between actor and author as they go over aspects of Johnson’s character and performance as well as general thoughts about the trilogy. The format gives the piece a little more charge than its siblings but it still fails to present much substance.
Three music videos appear. We get clips for “Capital Letters” by Hailee Steinfeld X Bloodpop, “For You” from Liam Payne and Rita Ora, and “Heaven” by Julia Michaels.
“For You” places the singers in Freed situations, a premise that sounds promising but ends up as just the usual lip-synch mediocrity most of the time. “Letters” follows a semi-similar motif, as some anonymous Christian-esque stud romances Steinfeld. It’s a little more creative but not much more interesting.
Finally, “Heaven” adopts the same concept and appears to take place in Christian’s apartment. Don’t expect much from it either, though I’m glad these videos at least avoid the usual movie clip montages.
The disc opens with ads for Breaking In, Thoroughbreds, and Molly’s Game. No trailer for Freed appears here.
For better or for worse, Fifty Shades Freed follows the same formula as the first two films – and I’ll vote “for worse”. Dull, tiresome and melodramatic, the movie fails to become anything even vaguely stimulating. The Blu-ray brings us strong picture along with decent audio and a smattering of decent supplements. Freed ends a dull trilogy on a forgettable note.