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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-10, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Whizzwang Vs Ultramrines The Movie

So, where to begin?

I am by no means a writer or reviewer. I am an average bloke that plays 40k. This review will no doubt be a random collection of thoughts as and when they occur to me, so try to keep up.

Let us start with the trailers.

I will admit to being less than impressed by the trailers that were released for this. I believe I am on record somewhere as saying they were a steaming pile of crap.

The teaser trailer did not tease and the first full trailer just did not have enough attention grabber in it. That being said, the second trailer released was certainly an improvement. I cannot help thinking that Code Pictures were aware of the underwhelming feelings we had towards the first offerings and upped their game a little.

There is a wave of negative criticism on the net at the moment about the animation. What we have seen so far has not really made us sit up and take note. It is certainly very detailed, but it just does not feel right. I am putting this down to the shape of the marines. Which when you think about it makes sense. We are used to the proportions we see on our models, and those do not translate to real world physics at all well.

Overall, my expectations for the movie were very low. I turned up to the screening expecting the worst.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

The screenplay is a Dan Abnett affair, so we were always going to be onto a winner there. The plot advances at typical Abnett pace and there is enough going on to keep the momentum going without getting too carried away or falling behind. It is abundantly clear Dan wrote it. Just the right amount of humorous one-liners alongside the main plot and action. If you have read any of his books, you will be comfortable with the style of story telling in this movie.

While I would love to expand more on this, I would not want to spoil any plot

Animation, that internet bugbear. Honestly, it is actually pretty good. The detail in some of the shots is stunning. Facial expressions, the gore and some fantastic panoramic shots.

The opening scene is very well created and serves to grab your attention straight away. Throughout the film, there are some very well produced shots, even a James Cameron-esque “foot” shot of a thunderhawk landing gear as it lands.


As I mentioned above, it is not so much the quality of the animation, it is the physical portrayal of the marines themselves. Obviously, we all have our own preconceived ideas on how marines operate, move and interact with each other and their environment. For me, they just did not quite have enough presence. They do not seem “heavy” enough. While I desperately try not to spoil anything, there is one particular scene where a marine has to make a leap forward, from the fiction we have been exposed to via the black library, you would expect a very resounding “thud” on landing, and that is not there. The footsteps are too light for the towering superhumans we know and love. In retrospect, the film is an hour and twenty minutes long, a constant drone of “thump, thump, thump, thump” as marines walk around would be a bit annoying. You can liken this to The Simpsons. In series one, maggy can be audibly heard to suck her dummy whenever she is off screen, the creators canned this idea early on as it detracted from the main focus of those scenes. I can only assume that same decision was made here. Sadly, this also makes them seem a little less marine like.

With the rescaling of the marines themselves, we get RIDICULOUSLY huge boltguns. These I cannot approve of enough. They look like they deal the devastation they are supposed to not the little popguns they have in game.

The film clocks in at 78mins and sadly feels a lot shorter. That being said, talking to a couple of guys afterwards one of them made an excellent observation. We have wanted a 40k film for so long, even if it was 6 hours long we would still want more.

When you consider how small the budget was for this movie, it does throw it all in perspective. The producers had to raise all the funds themselves. Outside of giving the green light to Codex to let them create the film, Games Workshop have had very little input in the process, much like any other use of the licence. Animation itself being the most expensive form of film making, raising the funds needed would have been no small feat.

Codex Pictures have definitely done a fantastic job with what they had available.

In summary.

Is this the most fantastic sci-fi film ever made? Was it worth the 20 year wait? Is it everything we want from a 40k movie and more?

Unfortunately, the answer is no… but then it was never going to be. We have had 20 years of 40k to create our own preconceptions of what a 40k movie should look like

HOWEVER, does it stay true to our beloved universe? Is it a cool engrossing story about Space Marines? Does shit blow up? Does stuff get shot? The answer is definitely a resounding yes.

Most importantly, should you order yourself a copy?

Yes, you should. It is a 40k film for God’s sake and a pretty damn good one to boot. It is not fantastically awesome and it was never going to be it is however something you should definitely buy if you are a fan of 40k. Partly because it’s actually pretty good, and partly because the greater it’s success, the higher the chance we get a second or third or fourth offering, and I for one would love to see what we’d get with a much larger budget




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-10, 10:22 PM
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cheers whizzwang

im not really that excited about the film...maybe im getting old, but prehaps its worth a look.

I think as you say all of us have a perception of how 40k should look, and what we'd like from a 40k movie and i feel that the more they try, the more they will disappoint. Not from the poin of view of it being shit. but more that because we all have so many ideas that it wont match up to everyones idea's.

With that in mind if i were to make a 40k movie it would be from a Guardsmens perspective. It would be a suspense horror, with prehaps daemons or tyranids as the bad guys, were you only see a glimpse of what is really under the surface. I'd like to put little references throughout without explaining them for the true geeks out there and then right at the end, when all seems lost, you'd get the outline of a marine, coming in to save the day.

again just how i would do it and what i think would be cool

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-10, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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I was also not overly excited about the film. bizarrely it was cheaper for me to go to London for the day to see it than go to the local cinema and get tickets and snacks for a movie this evening so I thought "sod it, why not" and to be honest, I'm glad I did. it was certainly enjoyable as far as movies go and it's definitely worth a watch.

All in all, it was a good day

I also got collared by the Beats of War guys.... twice

It is with a sense of apprehension I await my ugly mug being plastered all over the internet on their TV thing.




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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-10, 07:58 AM
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Sounds good Whizzwang.

I can believe that Codex pictures had to raise the money themselves, as the guy at Gamesday pretty much said it was boom or bust for them on this.

What made me laugh though was a claim he made that GW had been getting Hollywood offers for years but were waiting until the right company came along.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-10, 09:42 AM
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that is true, loads of hollywood producers would love to get there hands on the 40k ip
however they all want merchandising rights and gw quite rightly will not be giving out permission for that

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-10, 09:56 AM
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The other thing would be that Hollywood would approach with what "they" thought they should do, then GW would have stamped its foot and told them they wanted total control but no funding input, Hollywood would then have told them to go fish.

So the "waiting until the right company came along" was code for "waiting until someone self funding who would give us control of their money pot and let us cream off the top at no risk came along"
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-10, 10:01 PM
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see the way you word that bubble, makes out that that is a negative thing.
the alternatives is they sell out to the highest bidder and let speilburg make it into an action flick were the geeky tech adept saves the day and gets the girl by becoming the god emperror and befriending the tyranids.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-10, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Too_hot_to_handle View Post
see the way you word that bubble, makes out that that is a negative thing.
the alternatives is they sell out to the highest bidder and let speilburg make it into an action flick were the geeky tech adept saves the day and gets the girl by becoming the god emperror and befriending the tyranids.
Wow! What a story I'd pay to see... wait a minute! You nearly had me there.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-10, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whizzwang View Post
Most importantly, should you order yourself a copy?
More importantly do they fight chaos?
Does chaos get it's shit wrecked?
Does chaos even put up some semblance of a fight? Do we see chaos marines and regular marines dropping at the same intervals?

I keep forgetting how hilarious my old posts are.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-10, 12:45 AM
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Of course not. It follows the story of 5 ultramarines who bravely fend off an entire chaos warfleet with the help of the local PDF. three of the five smurfs are killed in heroic last stands where they safeguard the lives of hundreds of loyal PDF soldiers - each one single handedly bringing down a squad of chaos marines & a horde of heretics & mutants.

The entire chaos invasion is foiled when the 2 surviving smurfs and a single squad of 20 PDF manage to infiltrate the Chaos flag-ship. As they make their way through the bowels of the ship 15 of the humans are horribly killed, but it isn't until the PDF captain's life is threatened by a daemon engine that the smurf seargent heroically sacrifices himself in a show of humanity (which he has lacked for the duration of the movie up to this point). Horribly mangled, the seargent commands the lone surviving smurf (the newest member of the squad) to complete his mission by killing the leader of the chaos warhost. In the final, dramatic showdown (taking place in a docking bay with only void-shields keeping them safe from being sucked into space) the smurf is horribly outclassed by the chaos lord he is battling. It is only when the PDF captain sacrifices himself to buy a fraction of a second that the rookie smurf is able to finally overpower the chaos lord & in doing so save the day, the planet, the system, the imperium.

The final scene of the movie depicts the internment of the bodies of the fallen smurfs alongside the slain PDF captain. The rookie smurf gives a heartfelt euligy expressing his admiration for the "heroes" he was able to fight alongside & the glory of the inevitible triumph of man over the forces of chaos.

fade to black.
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