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FIFTY SHADES FREED Closes Out the Thriller/Sexual Trilogy

freed

 

Jeri Jacquin

Climaxing this Friday from Universal Pictures and director James Foley is the final film in a trilogy that brings us FIFTY SHADES FREED.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has received a ring from the unusual man of her dreams Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). After a beautiful wedding the two jet off to Europe for a honeymoon of sun and spending time as only these newlyweds can. Back in Seattle, someone is trying to sabotage Christian’s family when files are stolen and a fire is set.

The Grey’s immediately return and as Christian investigates what is happening, Ana returns to her job to discover that she has been given a promotion. It’s important to her because the person responsible for what is happening is Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) who clearly has an agenda to bring down the Grey’s.

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Realizing her life has been a whirlwind, Ana reconnects with Kate (Eloise Mumford) spending time together over the watchful eye of her bodyguard Sawyer (Brant Daugherty) while Christian is out of town. Upset with Ana, he understands that she misses the company of her friends. Arranging time with Kate, Jose (Victor Rasuk) and his siblings Mia (Rita Ora) and Elliot (Luke Grimes) they learn an unexpected surprise.

Relaxed and back to work, it isn’t long before Jack’s back! Being attacked is more than Ana and Christian can take and after more surprising family news; the couple’s next event is staggering. Ana must now make a decision without Christian that is dangerous and could cost her everything.

Johnson as Anastasia is much stronger in this film and it’s nice to see. I think my favorite part is when she puts architect Gia Matteo on the hot seat by staking her claim to the house Christian has bought for them and being called ‘Mrs. Grey’. She also lets her new husband know that their life together is important, but so is working and friendships. Christian is discovering that his new wife is much stronger than he ever gave her credit for. I think I like Johnson in this film the best.

Dornan as Christian begins to show his weaker side in this film and that’s not a bad thing. For a character that spent two films being in control of everything, it was only a matter of time before the cracks would begin to show. Those insecurities lead Christian to make some seriously dumb decisions and this stronger Ana gives him what-for in no uncertain terms! Dornan’s Christian is in new territory but the women in the audience adore both the character and the actor so forgiveness flowed in the theatre.

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Eric Johnson as Jack clearly is still angry over his firing, Ana’s quick rise in the publishing world and a few secrets that Christian is determined to find out. Let’s be honest, crazy people do crazy things and Jack lives up to that and does so in plain site. His goal is one thing, to make Ana pay for what he believe she has done and give the Grey family reasons to be nervous.

Mumford returns as Ana’s friend Kate with a few surprises in store for her, Grimes as brother Elliot shares a little of Christian’s childhood and sees that he is finally happy, Ora returns as sister Mia who is still protective of her adoptive brother. Harden returns as Christian’s mother Grace who believes in her son and is supportive when things go a little awry.

Other cast includes Max Martini as Taylor, Jennifer Ehle as Carla, Bruce Altman as Jerry Roach, Arielle Kebbel as Gia Matteo, Callum Keith Rennie as Ray, Robinne Lee as Ros Bailey and Marcia Gay Harden as Grace Grey.

FIFTY SHADES FREED brings the story of Anastasia and Christian full circle and pushes a little past for those who truly want to know how their life plays out. I heard a woman next to me at the screening say she was a little sad there wasn’t more of the wedding shown and, as with TWILIGHT films, everyone wants to see more of the beautiful dress.

The story does take off fairly quickly not giving much time for the couple or the audience to settle in. Jack returns to make sure to put a kibosh on a happy newlywed beginning. Honeymoon is over when security guards become part of the Grey’s new married life. It was nice to see Ana return to a job she obviously loves but also make it known that she wants a life of friends and normalcy.

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Of course the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY films give audiences their soft core sex scenes that haven’t been shy in any way since it first hit screens in 2015 and FIFTY SHADES FREED is no exception. What is new in the films is the insecurities Christian can no longer hide from. In the first two films he is calm, cool and a bit on the controlling side. This film he throws a few tantrums that made the women in the audience gasp a little but that’s what happens when all that control starts slipping away.

Erika Mitchell wrote under the pen name of E.L. James when writing her Fifty Shades trilogy. There is also Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian novel that was released last year. Possible there could be another Fifty Shades film? I think there are fans who would like to see that happen.

I have no doubt that those who love the Fifty Shades books will gather up like minded gals for a fun night at the movies. Have dinner, a few drinks and cheer the new couple on their alternative life together. Nothing wrong with a little Friday night Grey!

In the end – Mrs. Grey will see you now!

 

 

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Steele and Grey are Back in FIFTY SHADES DARKER on Bluray!

Fifty Shades Darker cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Digital HD now and Bluray/DVD and 4K Ultra HD as well as OnDemand next week from director James Foley and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the next chapter in the story of lovers who are becoming FIFTY SHADES DARKER.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is still reeling after the break-up with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Getting a job at a publishing company working for Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), she keeps herself busy but it doesn’t stop Christian from reaching out. During a night out, Christian shows up asking Anastasia to please speak with him and she agrees.

While at dinner they talk about where their relationship needs to be before Anastasia would even consider reconnecting. That is when Christian begins to understand that he can no longer hide if he is to have her and explains parts of his past. Feeling that love between them might be possible, Anastasia is thrilled.

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So is Christian’s mother Grace (Marcia Gay Harden) when the couple arrives at party being thrown at the Grey estate. Anastasia sees Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger) who promptly lets her know that her happiness isn’t going to last. Upset by her words, the couple leaves the party only to deal with another disturbing event caused by a young woman named Leila (Bella Heathcote).

Trying to keep Anastasia protected, it seems as if their problems are coming from all around as Christian tries to maintain control. From her boss Jack at the publishing company, to a mysterious girl following Anastasia and Christian’s Mrs. Robinson – control is about to be taken from them both!

Because in their world it is all about control.

Johnson as Anastasia wastes no time wanting to work things out with Christian. Jumping right back into a crazy life, this time she has more to say about their situation. Finally figuring out the secrets that Grey has been hiding, Anastasia decides there is nothing so frightening that she can not deal with it for his sake.

Dornan as Grey does the most personal evaluating when he finally starts to come clean about his past. There is still more to discover I’m sure but at least there are some answers to make fans happy. Dornan isn’t as angry looking in this film giving Christian smiles and a sense of humor making his role more endearing.

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Basinger as Elena is definitely a problem child who is clearly not happy that Christian has won Anastasia back. She gives us a little 9 ½ WEEKS smoldering and clearly isn’t happy with Grey’s choice. Heathcote as Leila is a woman in pain and she wants everyone else to suffer, especially Anastasia.

Speaking of the Grey’s, Harden as Grace is elegant, beautiful and thrilled Anastasia is back. Ora as Mia is flighty and Grimes as brother Elliot is still hot and heavy for Anastasia’s roommate Eloise played by Kavanagh.

Other cast include Kate Kavanagh as Eloise, Rita Ora as Mia Grey, Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey, Victor Rasuk as Jose, Andrew Airlie as Carrick Grey, Robinne Lee as Ros Bailey and Max Martini as Taylor.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

FIFTY SHADES DARKER opens up the door to more of the storyline and a glimpse into what is going to happen next in the tale of these lovers. The storyline in this installment answers many of the questions from the previous film but clearly leaves more to come.

Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey remain the hot couple that brought people into the theatres for a shared experience and will continue on this Unrated Edition on Bluray/DVD and Digital HD. That’s exactly what audiences will get with FIFTY SHADES DARKER, twists, turns, answers and plenty of tension and wardrobe changes.

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The Bonus Features Exclusive to Bluray are A Darker Direction – Director James Foley explains how his vision had to meet with fans’ expectation, New Threats – An introduction to some new, dark and threatening characters, including Jack Hyde, Leila and, of course, Elena Lincoln also known as Mrs. Robinson, The Masquerade – This Featurette about one of the film’s most iconic scenes, Intimate with Darker – An intense look and discussion about the intimate, sensual and provocative world of Fifty Shades Darker, including a visit to the Red Room and the new toys.

The Bonus Features on Bluray and DVD are Deleted Scenes, A tease to FIFTY SHADES FREED – a teaser to the next Fifty Shades film, Writing Darker – Author E.L. James and screenwriter Niall Leonard trace back the history of the book, Dark Reunion – The filmmaker and cast members discuss being reunited for the film.

There is also a 4K Ultra HD combo pack available which includes the Ultra HD Bluray, Bluray and Digital HD that has all of the Special Features available.

The Fifty Shades series of films keeps fans of the books coming back for more. Knowing that there is another installment means that to satisfy everyone until then, there are going to be plenty of FIFTY SHADES DARKER viewing parties! Nothing wrong with that because with this Unrated Version and Combo Pack – there is plenty to see again and again.

In the end – every fairy tale has a dark side!

The Highly Anticipated FIFTY SHADES DARKER Comes to Theatres

fifty-shades-review

Jeri Jacquin

This Friday from director James Foley and Universal Pictures is the next chapter in the story of lovers who are becoming FIFTY SHADES DARKER.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is still reeling after the break-up with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Getting a job at a publishing company working for Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), she keeps herself busy but it doesn’t stop Christian from reaching out. During a night out, Christian shows up asking Anastasia to please speak with him and she agrees.

While at dinner they talk about where their relationship needs to be before Anastasia would even consider reconnecting. That is when Christian begins to understand that he can no longer hide if he is to have her and explains parts of his past. Feeling that love between them might be possible, Anastasia is thrilled.

shades-1

So is Christian’s mother Grace (Marcia Gay Harden) when the couple arrives at party being thrown at the Grey estate. Anastasia sees Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger) who promptly lets her know that her happiness isn’t going to last. Upset by her words, the couple leaves the party only to deal with another disturbing event caused by a young woman named Leila (Bella Heathcote).

Trying to keep Anastasia protected, it seems as if their problems are coming from all around as Christian tries to maintain control.

Because in their world it is all about control.

Johnson as Anastasia wastes no time wanting to work things out with Christian. Jumping right back into a crazy life, this time she has more to say about their situation. That is perhaps the most I can say about the growth of Johnson’s character. I would say more but the rest of the time is spent doing, well, wardrobe changes.

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Dornan as Grey does the most personal evaluating when he finally starts to come clean about his past. There is still more to discover I’m sure but at least there are some answers to make fans happy. Dornan isn’t as angry looking in this film giving Christian smiles and a sense of humor previously lacking.

Basinger as Elena is definitely a problem child who is clearly not happy that Christian has won Anastasia back. She gives us a little 9 ½ WEEKS smoldering and not in a good way. Taking on the Grey’s wasn’t the smartest thing she could have done. Heathcote as Leila is a woman in pain and she wants everyone else to suffer, especially Anastasia.

Speaking of the Grey’s, Harden as Grace is elegant, beautiful and thrilled Anastasia is back. Ora as Mia is flighty and Grimes as brother Elliot is still hot and heavy for Anastasia’s roommate Eloise played by Kavanagh.

Other cast include Kate Kavanagh as Eloise, Rita Ora as Mia Grey, Luke Grimes as Elliot Grey, Victor Rasuk as Jose, Andrew Airlie as Carrick Grey, Robinne Lee as Ros Bailey and Max Martini as Taylor.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FIFTY SHADES DARKER three tubs of popcorn out of five. Although the storyline in this installment is fairly straight forward, it would have been better had it gone uninterrupted. What I mean by that is every fifteen minutes clothes were flying off and there isn’t much of the raciness of the first film.

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Actually, to be honest, Anastasia’s joke of their new vanilla life is an understatement. The first film enticed viewers with an alternate sexual lifestyle only to have it squashed in this film under the guise of Christian ‘changing’. By the films end there have been answered questions and new enemies setting up what is sure to come in the third installment.

Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey remain the hot couple that bring people into the theatres for a shared experience. That’s exactly what audiences will get with FIFTY SHADES DARKER, twists, turns, answers and plenty of tension and wardrobe changes.

In the end – every fairy tale has a dark side!

 

THE KNICK is Operating in Bluray for Season Two

the knick bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week is the stunning series on Cinemax filled with drama and intensity as THE KNICK: The Complete Second Season delivers!

The ending of season one left fans stunned as Thackery (Clive Owen) checks into a clinic for his addiction after Bertie sees he has reached his breaking point, Cornelia receives help from Sister Harriet, Edward is left on the street and Gallinger is horrified by the treatment his wife receives!

Opening the second season Thackery is still in the clinic, Edwards (Andre Holland) is acting as chief of surgery and Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) has been arrested. Gallinger (Eric Johnson) appears taking Thackery some place where he doesn’t have any other choice but to sober up.

He returns to the Knick but is leery of everyone around him, especially when Nurse Elkins (Eve Hewson) is asked to check for drug use. Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) is less than thrilled when he has to treat Ping Wu’s prostitutes at the hospital. After Edwards has an eye issue that threatened his position, he asks Thackery to help repair the damage.

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Now that Cornelia (Juliet Rylance) and Philip (Tom Lipinski) are married, she turns to him for funds to help Harriet’s defense. Nurse Elkins father who is a pastor brings her into the church and when she confesses, she learns that he is less than forgiving. Thackery continues to work towards helping Edwards but he has bigger problems when a woman who will change everything arrives at his doorstep.

Thackery is also trying out different treatments Abigail (Jennifer Ferrin) that infuriated Edwards. That will have to wait as an explosion in the subways brings in multiple patients that calls upon them all. Gallinger still has the time to bring up the idea of sterilizing young men who he deems a danger to society.

Whether it be electric stimulation of a brain or hypnosis, Thackery is determined to find a cure to addictions. His interest is also peaked when a pair of conjoined girls come to him for help. Cornelia discovers in horror that her father allowed sick immigrants in because it was cheaper than sending them home.

After the twins surgery, Brockhurt, who feels he owns the girls barges into the Knick with a gun demanding their return from Thackery. Someone finally discovers what Gallinger has been doing to the teens and Abigail goes under the knife.

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It all comes to a head when Thackery is close to becoming a patient himself, Henry tells everyone that there will be no new Knick, accusations as to who set the fire at the hospital fly, Harriet receives a surprise request, Cornelia sets sail for Australia, Edwards sees the benefit of Thackery’s addiction research and Thackery – well, he decides there is no better surgeon than himself.

That’s only scratches the surface of Season Two as I’m not a huge fan of spoilers. I only wanted to grab your attention because, as everyone who has seen the series knows this hospital drama has many floors!

Owen has made the role of Thackery his very own. With the amazing ability to be so very dark in this character, there are moments of hope that Owen dashes away from us and we still forgive him for it! So I suppose the question is who is more dangerous, Thackery or those of us who love this character? I love the character and am completely proud to say so.

Holland as Edwards start out this series as a man who wanted to save lives and wasn’t infected by the craziness of the Knick. Well, that didn’t last long hanging around Thackery but he does get the chance to lead. I knew immediately that Thackery wasn’t about to let his top dog spot be taken.

Other cast include: Michael Angarano as Bertie, Chris Sullivan as Tom Cleary, David Fierro as Jacob Speight, Maya Kazan as Eleanor Gallinger, Grainger Hines as Captain Robertson, Zaaah Abrahams as Opal Edwards, Charlie Aitken as Henry Robertson, Rachel Korine as Junia, LaTonya Borsay as Evaline Edwards, and Perry Yung as Ping Wu.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE KNICK: The Complete Second Season four tubs of popcorn out of five. This show has some serious issues and each one of them is so damn fascinating to watch. I am thrilled to watch this ensemble cast bring to life a storyline that you can’t turn away from.

I have always said that I am a fan of period pieces and THE KNICK gives the series richness with costuming and set designs that bring the viewer along for the hospital ride. Even the props are refined to the era and are a part of the stories of the 1900’s.

The series has won for Best Drama Series and Best Actor for Clive Owen along with Best Ensemble by the 19th Satellite Awards. THE KNICK also won the Peabody Award by the 74th Peabody Awards, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program, and a nomination for Clive Owen for Best Actor by the Golden Globes.

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The Bonus Features include: The Knick Under Construction gives an exclusive walking tour of the most notable sets from THE KNICK with the man who envisioned them Production Designer Howard Cummings, Inside the Costume Shop as costume designer Ellen Mirojnick is joined by actors Andre Holland and Juliet Rylance, Invitation to the Ball is an extensive look at how director Steven Soderbergh along with show creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler went about creating the extravagant charity ball.

Inside the Body Shop has four in-depth looks at the show’s medical procedures including the eye-opening ocular surgical sequence, a bloody leg abscess, brain surgery and more.

Behind the Scenes with five vignettes with case and crew discussing the season’s plotlines including eugenics, feminism, addiction, race relations and corruption. Post Ops with ten inside the episode recaps, Knicktoids to get the real scoop behind many of the fascinating details seen in Season 2, and Audio Commentaries with cast and crew.

Season Two of THE KNICK is filled with twists, turns, complications and festering that leaves nothing to the imagination with its raw storytelling. The show has fans addicted and always wanting more. Pick up both seasons and remember what good television is really all about!

In the end – humanity is hard to cure!

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