Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big Jim's take on the Ultramarines movie

Now let me say right off the bat, I had no higher hopes for this movie to be good "B-rated" Sci-fi. Knowing that GW was not financially backing the movie I knew the movie was going to have a limited budget.

All of you that expected a blockbuster styled movie were just expecting way too much from a small production company with no monetary support from Games Workshop. I also suspect that Dan Abnett's screenplay was butchered to an extent to keep the movie within its budget.

I have watched the movie a few times and must say that I really like it for what it is: good "B-rated" Sci-fi. I enjoyed seeing the gritty 40k world and the Astartes warriors portrayed on my big screen TV.

I enjoyed the details of the armor with each Marine having some variant in the design. I also enjoyed that they showed the mag-locks on the hips of some of the Marines, this was great detailing. The two things that detracted from the Astartes were the withered old faces of the veterans and the massively over-sized Bolters.

Looking at the landscape in the background of the movie, I liked the foggy world aspect, but understand where the complaints of the film makers taking the easy way out on the graphics side of things. While that is probably true, I still enjoyed the limited visibility it gave the heroes of the movie, it did help add to the tension of the story.

I forgive any "Fluff" issues in the movie, as there are almost no films big or small that don't change the background of any story line.

Like I said the Ultramarines movie was good "B-rated" Sci-fi, if you did not enjoy the movie the first time around I suggest that you give it a second look. Viewing with the understanding of what it is "B-rated" Sci-fi.

Face the facts, this is as good as we are going to get if GW does not finance the movie or license the IP to a big production company. If we embrace these early movies GW may just feel the need to make a proper money making feature film.

Well that's my two pennies worth!

Upward and onward,


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. It was good for what it was and that's about it.

  2. I tend to agree with most everything up there. It seems too many people expected too much.

    The withered, old/feeble facial details on some of the 'veteran' marines was a little much, though, and tended to break through some of the suspension of disbelief I had going. That aside, seeing a friend's copy is more than enough to make me want to go buy my own.

    Just like Black Library, if the community supports this, I'm sure we'll see more where it came from.

    Space Wolf Lars

  3. I disagree wholeheartedly. The movie was crap, and accepting it as anything less than that, is inviting more crap in the future.

    Note to GW: get better, or stop.

  4. Yap, I agree too, probably a B grade sci-fi movie. Was just having an expectation for the movie, but its disappointing. I thought despite the poor animation and screenplay, the story and plot could have been a better one, especially by Dan Abnett. With a good story/plot, sometimes even if the screenplay is bad, the movie is still good to watch.

  5. I think there is a starting point to everything. None of us painted up a masterpiece the first time they their brushes in acrylic and painted up a model. The film was not brilliantly executed in terms of background, fluff and motion, but it does have some good detailing and a respectable, if somewhat predictable, story.

    All in all I think it was worth watching considering the effort they made with the low budget at hand. Besides, from all the reviews saying the same thing, I'm hopefully positive they will do better next time round.

    This was a trail test in my opinion, and I think the producers of this company and other companies have seen the enormous potential in it.

  6. Let me say, first off, that I am happy to have bought this movie. I think that a $40 price tag to support a movie endeavor is not too much to pay, especially for anyone who loves this hobby.

    Now, with that said, my feelings about the movie are pretty clear in the latest podcast. It just was not good. I was willing to give it a fair amount of leeway until I watched the bonus features. As I understand from the bonus features, Abnett's script was not chopped up much and they spent 5 years to create this.

    I still give it some leeway, I am sure it will get better with much alcohol. As for a quality piece of film or animation, even B grade, I am disappointed. As Jay pointed out, even Saturday Morning cartoons on the Cartoon network are better than this. In addition, the script was just weak. Come on, how much walking do we need to see?

  7. Thanks for the comments, I knew that most would not agree with my assessment of the movie.

    My intention was provide a different perspective on the movie. I fully admit it was not a great movie, but I stand by my assertion that it is good "B-rated" sci-fi.

    I think most 40k fans had unrealistic expectations for the movie. Sorry but that is how I see it.

  8. I think that the biggest issue with the movie is people's expectations. It's like filming Lord of the rings. Even with isane budget, great actors, and people who really really worked their ass of to make it true to the book there were many who were disappointed. Now with 40k you have a universe even more described (but far more retconned) which makes it even harder.

    For what the movie is I found it to be a feast of 40k geekiness. The details were awesome and it was real obvious to me that this was a real 40k vision where they had indeed worked hard with the studio to make it true. I very much believe that this is GW's real vision put onto screen.

    Thing is, it's not the same vision as many fans have built over many years. Seen without the 40k goggles on it is a pretty good B action movie. Follows the norm pretty much. Let me repeat that, action movie. Action. Not a story driven movie. Which is the second reason people feel cheated. They really wanted something different. But you can't expect the usual suspects or shawshank redemption. And if you watch those movies again you'll realize how little we get to know about things in them. You can't transpose a universe as big and detailed as 40k into one movie and I think they did they right thing to make it a much more limited in scope movie.

    I enjoyed the movie for what it is and hope for more in the future. With maybe a live action at some point:)

  9. I'd been hoping for a movie that would be good enough to show to people that didn't know anything about the 40K universe. Something that would make non-fans go, "That was cool! I want to know more!" Alas, that's not the movie we got.

    I just hope the crappy sales from this flick don't put off someone with a bigger budget from giving it a go. I don't want to wait another two decades for an attempt with more panache.

    This movie made me sad.

  10. I think you're right about having realistic expectations.

    But I think there may be hope for the future as we see better depictions of the 40k universe from games like Space Marine.
    Captain Titus' character modeling, voice acting, & story were all far superior to the Ultramarines movie's terminal-cancer-ward marines.