Category Archives: Drama

Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie Online

Welcome to Watch Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie Online Previously on “One Bruise at a Time” (a.k.a. the first two “Fifty Shades” outings): Ana and Christian (Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan), our slap-and-tickle surrogates, bonded through bondage and a shared affection for flattering lighting. Now, with “Fifty Shades Freed,” we’ve reached what the publicity notes are pleased to call “the climactic chapter” of this titillation trilogy based on the heavy-breathing novels of E.L. James. If another sequel shows up, though, I’m going to have to use my safe word.

Layering a damp-squib thriller subplot beneath what appears to be an ad campaign for the one-percent lifestyle, the returning director and screenwriter (James Foley and Niall Leonard) test the newly married couple with an inconvenient pregnancy and an unconvincing car chase. There’s an out-of-left-field abduction and a marital tiff over email addresses; but these narrative fragments, lazily tossed together alongside a neglected supporting cast, are no more than a flimsy causeway connecting bonking sessions.

Invariably accompanied by wailing makeout music and sometimes a dairy product, these function simultaneously as the movie’s raison d’être and its creamy topping. Yet with the couple’s power dynamic seemingly settled — he’s a controlling chauvinist, she’s mostly fine with that — the rods and restraints are no longer necessary negotiating tools. Now, it’s just married sex, albeit more rippling and racy than most.

As popular as this window-fogging franchise has become, its flaccid finale is likely critic proof. But if I can persuade just one of you to bypass its milquetoast masochism and watch the stratospherically superior “9 1/2 Weeks” instead, then I will have done my job.

The first half-hour of the movie is The Abuser’s Playbook: Hook a woman by lovebombing her, then gradually isolate her from her friends (when she is reunited with them they are all his friends/family) and train her via denying her freedom and affection to obey his commands. It’s also full of a married couple having hilarious conversations about things any normal couple would have done before getting married: Do they want kids? Will she change her name? And so forth, to the point where Anna really should have heeded some advice given to a more successful celluloid Anna: “You can’t marry someone you’ve just met!”

You can see the movie’s bad fan-fic roots, also, in what it pushes as the end goal for a woman: marriage and kids, preferably to someone wealthy. Who cares if he’s emotionally abusive! I want films for women, but boy howdy, I do not want films for women that perpetuate the incredibly toxic “goal” of meeting a bad boy, fixing him and then marrying him. Psst, girls, you can’t fix ’em. Christian’s ultimate emotional turnaround is so rushed and unearned as to be unbelievable, and the final cut of Anna sitting in the sex room awaiting her master, to her and him lounging on the lawn of their estate with Baby #1 as a toddler and her pregnant with Baby #2 was laughable.

My last problem with the film is probably the biggest underlying issue with the entire production: It’s still shot from the male gaze. We see Johnson’s body more frequently naked than Dornan’s, and filmed much more… appreciatively. The director and crew clearly fell back on the only thing they knew how to do: eroticize the female body, and then have Dornan with his shirt off. All of this is also undercut by Dornan, who clearly doesn’t want to be there, and cinematography that occasionally rises to the dizzying heights of “9 p.m. CW show.”

They don’t know how to film Dornan. Aside from being able to shoot him with a female (or gay male) gaze, they try to show the character’s masculinity and power… by shooting him from a low angle, so he’s high in frame compared to her. The problem is, Dornan has a heavy chin, and it is just the most unflattering angle ever created. They’re using fairly short lenses, too, and the result is just painful. Never shoot a lady from beneath!

Oh, and the soundtrack is overly loud and invasive. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, it was a fine motion picture.

Abrams: Lee Harvey, I’m intrigued by your comments about foreplay and the general flatness of 50 Shades Freed‘s bad sex scenes. For me, the film lives and dies by how compelling its attempts at either normalizing or just giving its audience an interesting alternative to the usual male gaze-y rom-coms. So the sex scenes are crucial, he said as he held back very mature giggling.

You’re dead-on about the need for better choreography. There are two gratuitous ass shots in the film. I don’t say “gratuitous” in a pejorative sense, that’s just what we’re talking about. It also hasten to note that one of the asses in question belongs to Dornan.

Still, I have never seen two more consistently botched ass shots. You’d think it wouldn’t be hard to hire people who know how to worship or at least properly objectify at least one of the film’s two appealing leads. But then, the film ends with an unflattering low-angle shot of Johnson presenting herself to Dornan’s character. Maybe this shot isn’t meant to appeal to me, but shouldn’t I at least be able to theoretically understand how something like this could be sexy? The damn thing is smashed against marble tile! It’s not flattering!

Fifty Shades Freed

The following conversation about Fifty Shades Freed, this weekend’s undisputed box-office champion, comprises electronic correspondence between The Hollywood Reporter contributor Simon Abrams and comics writer Alex de Campi. In this thread, you will find some mild spoilers. We highly recommend that you see the film before reading this exchange, but that’s more of a suggestion than an order. We are, after all, not your mom.

Simon Abrams, Shogun Assassin: The Fifty Shades franchise has made big bank this box office, despite often being critically dismissed as a series of unsexy, moronic and overwrought “chick flicks.” This assessment is not wholly inaccurate, but it is unproductively harsh. I confess that I still think E.L. James’ prose in Fifty Shades of Grey is rather amateurish. Still, the courtship of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a kind of sadomasochistic Henry Higgins, by Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), his Pollyanna-ish Eliza Doolittle, was originally conceived as Twilight fan fiction. So I tend to think James’ editors deserve some blame for its original, uh, roughness.

Still, my larger point being: Just how seriously should we take the Fifty Shades films? These movies are unusual in that they are, like the Twilight films before them, so popular that they’ve become the new business model. The Fifty Shades films are also, despite often defined by erotic thriller tropes and cliches, uncommon because of their preoccupation with female sexuality. It would accordingly be too easy to outright dismiss Fifty Shades Freed because of its creators’ imaginative and technical shortcomings.

I read two compelling articles about Fifty Shades Freed before seeing it for myself. Both informed the way I saw — and struggled with my enjoyment — of the film. The first one can be found at Fandor, and it’s by Justine Peres-Smith. She writes, “[Fifty Shades of Grey] represents the first steps toward the future of what femme-friendly erotic cinema can be,” adding that the first adaptation “is the only [R-rated] film in the [box-office opening weekend] top 10 that is explicitly about sex, and the only one with a female lead. Based on a wildly successful book series of the same name, it is the most successful erotic franchise in film history.”

I was compelled by what Peres-Smith identified as a female-gaze-centric appeal. “The movies feature soft-core sex and nudity, which is often edited to a steamy pop hit. But what sets these scenes apart from other films that dramatize sex is that while they increasingly focus on Grey’s desire to ‘dominate,’ they also focus on Ana’s pleasure, not as a reward for male desire, but as a central theme of the film.”

Times Stephanie Zacharek goes further: “Movie nudity is so rare today that it makes what Dakota Johnson does, in all three Fifty Shades movies, that much more remarkable. She takes Anastasia seriously while retaining a sense of humor about herself. In a scene where Grey’s tongue follows the length of Anastasia’s leg, from ankle to wherever, Anastasia gives in to the moment, her neck arched in glorious silhouette. Johnson has a sense of Anastasia not just as part of a pristinely arranged tableau but also as a sensualist, with all the attendant nerve endings and complex emotions that that implies.”

Zacharek adds that Fifty Shades is a welcome respite to the generally juvenile treatment of sex in popular films. “Today’s sex scenes, and the semi-nudity they feature, are rarely languorous or sensual. Instead, sex is generally presented as something best rushed through, Energizer Bunny–style, to limit the risk of embarrassment or remorse, or even the possibility of actual pleasure. In real life and in the best movies, a woman’s naked body has an innate elegance; it looks less dignified when it’s obscured by lingerie or a low-cut top, as we so often see in movies today. ”

With these two articles in mind: I wanted to discuss with you the effectiveness and other issues of Fifty Shades Freed. Just so our readers know: You just penned a new weekly miniseries called Twisted Romance for Image Comics; its first issue is in stores this week. You’ve also written a fair amount of erotica, and are easily one of my favorite people to talk about movies with.

So, Alex: How did the film work for you? I know you and I both cringed at the male-gaze-centric perspective during the sex scenes, just as we both kinda tuned out during the thriller portion of the film. Still, what did you think of Fifty Shades Freed?

Alex de Campi, Lone Wolf and Cub: Let me state up front that my only qualifications for reviewing this film are that I am a woman, supposedly its target audience, and I’ve written a whole lot of porn. (Erotica, if we’re trying to be classy.) I’m also the survivor of an abusive relationship. I wanted this film to be great. Women deserve better films and films from the female gaze that celebrate sexual attraction. If done well — and I know this from my own writing work — it really lands with the male audience, too, who can’t quite figure out why the story feels new and fresh all of a sudden.

Yet, alas. If you recall, we ended the film with me giving two middle fingers to the credits screen (in the empty theater) and yelling, “Fuck you, terrible movie!” — so that pretty much sums it up. First, the good: Dakota Johnson. Boy was I surprised by her. She was genuine, she was in the moment and her performance was delightful. I was surprised how great she was: completely believable as the reader self-insert character, the slightly heavier-than-Hollywood usual (so, a size 8)  every-girl heroine.

Now, the bad. For a movie that makes such a big deal about being erotic, the sex is both boring and filmed perfunctorily at best. Every sex scene, there’s two seconds of foreplay, and then it’s Jamie Dornan, humping gamely away and desperately wishing he was somewhere, anywhere, but there. Look. Shooting a sex scene is just like shooting a fight scene. You have to choreograph it and block it. It has to have some sort of twist to it. But every sex scene but one in this godawful film is just a complete A to B straight line (that is, Tab A into Slot B), ending with penetrative sex, because that is apparently the only thing two people can do in bed. (Or elsewhere.)

As for the emotional arc of the film, which is the most important thing in romance/erotic romance: It ends up not having the courage of its convictions. Thus we wrestle with this also incredibly tacked-on thriller plot, where all the suspense cards are pretty much dropped in your lap as soon as it’s introduced (we find out the baddie’s identity — Mr. Hyde, the names in this film are a gift — and his motivation almost immediately). Because of this, there is no actual, credible resolution of the issue that Christian Grey is an abusive man-child who doesn’t need to be tamed, he needs to be slapped. Repeatedly.