Kidnapping Mr Heineken (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 29-Jul-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 94:33
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Daniel Alfredson
Becker Films
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Anthony Hopkins
Sam Worthington
Jim Sturgess
Ryan Kwanten
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Kidnapping Mr Heineken is an independent film directed by Swede Daniel Alfredson, who is probably best known as the director of two of the Millennium series of films, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It is based on the real life events in 1982 Amsterdam, when the boss of the Heineken empire was kidnapped and held for ransom. The kidnappers successfully received the money which has never been fully recovered, although all the kidnappers have since been caught and spent time behind bars for their crimes. It is also based on a book on the subject by crime journalist, Peter R. De Vries, although he seems to not be happy with either recent version of this story on film. Another film was made in 2011, featuring Rutger Hauer as Heineken, and there has also been a recent TV mini-series in the Netherlands. This film is probably most notable for the big names in the cast including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington and Ryan Kwanten. It was filmed on the streets of Amsterdam and certainly has an authentic feel to it because of that.

     The story here shows a group of young men who have been running a construction business but have fallen on hard times and need a loan to prop up the company. They appeal to the bank without success but then decide to try their hand at crime to make money. They are led by Cor Van Hout (Jim Sturgess) and Willem Holleeder (Sam Worthington), who both went on to become major figures in the Dutch crime underground. Also in the gang are Jan 'Cat' Boellard (Ryan Kwanten), mildly unhinged Frans 'Spikes' Meijer and a younger guy, 'Brakes' Erkamps. Initially, they rob an armoured car but soon decide they need to go for a bigger score and kidnap Freddy Heineken (Anthony Hopkins). They snatch him from the street, along with his driver, taking them to a factory unit where they have built padded cells to keep sound in, concealed in the back of the building. They demand a large ransom be paid. The movie follows the story as they hold the men, wait for the ransom to be paid, evade the police and then try to escape with the money afterwards.

     This is a pretty straight forward telling of the story, coming across more like a docudrama or re-enactment than a dramatic film. Regardless, it certainly held my interest for its 90 minute running time and provided appropriate action scenes and drama to keep its audience interested without setting the world on fire. I was not across much of the story before watching this film, so I found it interesting. It is told from the kidnappers’ perspective and portrays them as good guys rather than hardened criminals. I am not sure how real that is. Hopkins is marvellous as Heineken, showing spirit and the usual Hopkins steel. The others are fine but no-one really stands out although Worthington sounds like a very Australian Dutchman at times. It is shot reasonably well in the action sequences although at times it is very dark, probably due to naturalistic lighting (and possibly the transfer). If you are interested in the case, this is well worth seeing.

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Transfer Quality


     This video transfer is pretty average for a Blu-ray. It is 2.35:1 and 1080p, however really doesn't look like it. It lacks sharpness and backgrounds are generally grainy, looking like digital grain rather than film grain. Shadow detail is ordinary and the colour is dull and includes some regular chroma noise which surprises me on a Blu-ray.

     There are no subtitles which is a shame.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The soundtrack is a big quality step up from the video transfer, with a good immersive soundtrack which utilises your home theatre well. The dialogue is mostly good although subtitles would certainly have been useful for some scenes which are a little indistinct. The music is atmospheric and exciting in the action scenes. The surround speakers come to life during action sequences with gunfire, music and atmospherics at other times. The subwoofer supports the music and the action scenes. Technically, it is English DTS HD-MA 5.1.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras.


    The menu features music. It is simple allowing for playing the film or selecting scenes only.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region A version includes some deleted scenes and a TrueHD track instead of the DTS one we have locally. Region A wins.


    A worthwhile but straight retelling of a real life kidnapping featuring a top shelf cast.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are still being held by the kidnappers.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, August 14, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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