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· Blu-ray Reviewer
15,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Check out our review of this crime drama that tells the inside story of the planning, execution, rousing aftermath and ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of beer tycoon Alfred "Freddy" Heineken, which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Alchemy - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 95 minutes
Genre: Crime/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Kwanten, Jemima West
Directed by: Daniel Alfredson
Music by: Lucas Vidal
Written by: William Brookfield based on the book “The kidnapping of Alfred Heineken” by Peter R. De Vries
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 14, 2015

"It was the perfect crime. Until they got away with it…"

My Take:

The year is 1983. Ronald Reagan is president, Michael Jackson is doing the Moon Walk and The Police's 'Every Breath You Take' is topping the charts. A group of childhood friends decide they want money. Real money. The best way to do it is simple, they agree, all they have to do is commit the perfect crime. So they draw up a list. So begins an astonishing true story of an audacious kidnapping carried out in broad daylight by a group of twenty-something novices with no prior criminal history.

Primarily told from the perspective of the man with the plan, Cor van Hout, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken reconstructs the meticulous planning behind the abduction, delivery of the ransom and unveils the events that ultimately led everything to unravel.

In 1983 I was close to the same age of the men that pulled off this rather brazen criminal act. I have no recollection of the events but then again I am not so sure how much I would have concerned myself with a crime occurring in Amsterdam, even though it involved someone like Heineken whose name I knew (due to the notoriety of the beer company). The press release piqued my interest and the cast looked solid so I went ahead the requested this title for review.

Based on the book “The kidnapping of Alfred Heineken” by Peter R. De Vries which tells the true story surrounding the case Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is rather flat, coasting through the elements of its plot with little fanfare especially in light of the nature of the story which in and of itself is pretty interesting. This is the second film based on the subject, the first is from 2011 and starred Rutger Hauer. I found the characters to be sterile and hard to connect with which was surprising given the talent among the cast. The lone exception being Anthony Hopkins, in the title role, who makes the most of his limited screen time. At the end of the day Kidnapping Mr. Heineken didn’t live up to its subject matter and resulted in a bland movie experience.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and brief violence.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken comes to Blu-ray Disc from Alchemy featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.

This isn’t a particularly bright film but it manages to strike a good balance between the use of dark and light elements. Filtering is applied to render its varying visual aesthetics as dictated by the filmmakers. Certain scenes are almost monochromatic while others appear to use natural lighting and deeper color emphasis. This seems to mate well thematically and I found the visual contrast interesting. In most regards both light and dark sequences have above average depth with appreciable shadow delineation. White levels are tamped down and blacks are gradational but slightly elevated. Dynamic range is only mildly affected as brighter elements tend to have punchy highlights with visible detail. Resolution occasionally fluctuates but in most instances detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective that results in pleasing, multi-dimensional high definition video quality.

The front loaded lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with defining clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discerning level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) 6 deleted scenes

Final Thoughts:

Based on the book “The kidnapping of Alfred Heineken” by Peter R. De Vries, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is a rather dull crime thriller that fails to deliver an engaging movie experience. It comes to Blu-ray from Alchemy featuring good overall high definition audio/video mated with an abysmal supplemental offering that consists of a handful of deleted scenes. I haven’t read the book or seen the 2011 film on the same subject but would hope that either or both proves more interesting than this. If you’re interested in seeing Kidnapping Mr. Heineken my advice would be to catch it on cable television.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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· Registered
1,756 Posts
Never heard of this but thanks for the review and (based upon the review) I think I'll pass.

· Blu-ray Reviewer
15,837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not unlike the beer. ;)

Too bad, because the plot synopsis is really something that is in my wheelhouse. Perhaps I'll read the book instead.

It's not a horrible movie thrillcat. If the subject matter is something that would normally interest you, a rental isn't a bad move.

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