Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ultramarines : My Poor, Broken Heart

EDIT : After watching the film again while I wasn't drunk, I've reconstructed my review. I felt much less critical viewing it while sober, and had a better opinion of the film overall.

I arrived back from D.C and there before me was the object of my desire : my copy of Ultramarines, resplendent in It's metal casing. My lady friend and one of my roommates sat down to join me, and I relished the opportunity to share with them the 40k universe which I had come to love.

The movie does a good job of making the 40k universe appear to be a pretty goofy place. It did a poor job of presenting this universe as the grim, foreboding place that it is.

Before I start tearing this film apart I'd like to state that I am fully aware of the limitations due to budget (roughly 15 million USD), and that's why I came into the experience EXPECTING a strong plot, strong dialogue, and strong exposition to keep the film enjoyable. I had no hopes for the animation or the action, knowing (hoping) that Dan Abnett's literary skill could make up for it. My hopes were, for the most part, misplaced.

The lore seemed to have been very loosely followed. There were many moments in the film that had me baffled. Why is this chaplains' crozius arcanum shooting pew pew bolts? Why does this astartes battlebarge have a total of 12 marines on it, ten of whom are novices? Why are these bolters dispensing shells? Why aren't these bolter rounds exploding? For a film that was expressly created for the 40k fan base there are a large number of minor details such as these that were overlooked.

 The plot, the storytelling, and the character development all lacked in my opinion. I assume that this is a result of the budget ; forcing Abnett to slam in a film's story into a 75~ minute time frame. Despite the amount of time Abnett had to work with, I was still disappointed in the dialogue which came off as goofy in many cases.

The marines act and move like toy soldiers. There is no air of these characters being the most deadly, efficient warriors in the galaxy. They move clumsily, they joke and scoff at their superior's words. The way they work as a squad reminds me of children playing army with toy weapons, moving in mock formations. The film just makes space marines look like giant, superhuman mongoloids.

The animation, as everyone should know by now, is pretty abysmal. I won't rail on It to any great extent because It would be beating a dead horse at this point. Needless to say, the action scenes suffered pretty substantially as a result of the animation quality. It was difficult to take the film seriously as a result.

The one positive aspect of the film would definitely have to be the voice actors. They took the roles and ran with them. Considering the bland character development and the sometimes silly dialogue, these actors deserve some applause for breathing some character into these otherwise waxen-faced cardboard cutouts.

If you aren't into 40k, I'd consider this film a 2/10.

As a 40k fan myself, I've fit this film with a 5/10. I sat through it, I was engaged, and despite all of it's glaring flaws I still found it moderately enjoyable. To be fair, though, I think the majority of this enjoyment was found by pointing out and nitpicking mistakes and details with fellow 40k players while watching. If you're going to watch it I would recommend doing it with a friend who's into 40k as well. That way you have someone to turn to with a bewildered look on your face every time something ridiculous happens. It certainly improves the experience, as sad as that is.

Here's hoping for better in the future..

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm back in Gulf Breeze after about a week up in Washington D.C to visit my Dad and tour my lady friend around the city, she'd never been before. After many miles walked, many attractions seen, and a lot of pain in my feet I return home to pick up where I left off.

After about 2 years my vile, terrible friends have lured me back into playing WoW (Srsly. I had no say in the matter. Don't judge me). I'm not naive enough to say that this won't hinder the speed of my painting, because It will, but I'll certainly continue onwards at a decent pace. Before I had left I was working on my other brood of 3 hive guard. I have them almost complete, they just need some touch ups followed by highlights. I'll have pics up soon enough

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Week's Progress -- A Year's Work

My arduous road towards Coastal Assault in late January of 2011 continues. I have dim aspirations of actually having my whole army painted for it. I ground out 12 Gaunts over the last week which at my own rate of painting is a feat. Changed up my color scheme a bit and improved upon the highlights on my gaunts by leaps and bounds (Used to just use white for the highlight).

I got together all of my models that are currently painted. Looking at all the Nids I've painted over roughly the last year is pretty underwhelming when you have it all together at one time. I had plenty of time in which I lost interest in painting for weeks at a time, so I guess it's to be expected.
Here's my Hive Fleet Orochi in all of it's sort-of glory. I still have a good 100+ models unpainted. -_-

Back to painting...

Oh, and I saw this on 4Chan's /tg/ board. 
I thought it was too batshit insane to pass up.