21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping [UK] Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Dutch DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), Dutch LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English (Forced)
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certificate: 15
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 118 Mins.
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 11, 2013
  • List Price: £14.99

 

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

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21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping (De Heineken ontvoering) is the 2011 Dutch film from director and co-writer Maarten Treurniet that tells a fictional account of the 1983 kidnapping of the beer mogul Alfred Henry (Freddy) Heineken, played here by Rutger Hauer (The Rite; Hobo with a Shotgun; Blade Runner). A crime thriller-cum-docudrama, Kidnapping attempts to spin a character driven crime story of greed and revenge, but often misses the mark.

Rem (Reinout Scholten Van Aschat) is looking for a quick way out of poverty and to help his ailing father when he overhears his brother-in-law Cor (Gijs Naber) and his cronies planning the kidnapping of a local businessman, Rem, who wants in on the action, decides to impress them with even better prey. He follows and learns the daily routine of brewing magnate Freddy Heineken and suggests they kidnap the multimillionaire instead. The kidnapping is successful, but after a drawn out negotiation in which they hold Heineken captive and ransom is refused, the money is finally paid after 21 days. But it’s too late for the gang, as the authorities are already closing in. The brothers-in-law manage to evade the law and escape to France where extradition procedures mean they may never face Dutch justice, which prompts Heineken to begin pursuing his own form of justice.

While The Heineken Kidnapping starts out as an interesting film, it quickly becomes less so as it devolves into more of a crime caper and farce, and less of a suspense thriller based in reality. Were it not for Hauer’s acting, there would really be no compelling characters in this film. The over two-hour-long running time is in need of trimming and a re-edit, as the pace either drags or speeds by too quickly with little explanations. We go from Heineken’s captivity, which could have been a good time to form some tension or twisted sense of bonding between the kidnappers and the victim, straight into legal wrangling and revenge; the second half of the film feeling rather rushed and not too fleshed out. The production doesn’t help matters either. It feels more like a high-end TV series than it does a well produced film, meaning there is a very digital look to it. The director overuses lots of shaky camera movements and moody lighting in an effort to create drama, rather than bulking up the actual story.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

21-Days-The-Heineken-Kidnapping-UK-BD_02

The Heineken Kidnapping looks reasonably good on this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p Blu-ray encodement from Arrow. Contrast is strong, black levels are deep, and close-ups reveal a lot of textural information. That being said, there is some visible noise in the darker areas and a bit of softness that keeps the image from being absolutely reference. There is also some visible crush in the blacks that lowers detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

21-Days-The-Heineken-Kidnapping-UK-BD_03

The Dutch soundtrack is supplied in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) and LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz/16-bit). The 5.1 track is rather dry and front-heavy, with very low levels of ambience and atmospherics in the surrounds, and also mastered to a very low level. The 2.0 track is not much different, so take your pick.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

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Only the film’s theatrical trailer, which, digging into the files on the disc reveals, is supplied in 720p/24 at 24Hz, but looks to be actually up-scaled from standard definition anyway.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

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This film’s subject could have made for a far more interesting film than we are given here. 21 Days: The Heineken Kidnapping is a run of the mill crime thriller based on true events. If it weren’t a Dutch production, it might be something that could come across SyFy or the CI channel. Skip it.

Additional Screen Captures

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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