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Ultramarines: Warhammer [Blu-ray]

Terrence Stamp , John Hurt    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 21.99
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Warhammer 40K unconditionals only Aug. 26 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I must say I enjoyed watching this video (Considering the low price for a Blue-ray DVD) but, in all honesty, it's likely because I am such a fan of the Warhammer 40K serie ever since it came to the PC. The animation quality is very good but the combat scenes are much to short. The scenes should actually have been cut-scenes in a PC games with the combat left to the gamer. It would then have been perfect. In the present case, three stars is generous. So, stay away from this one unless you are a Warhammer 40K unconditional.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  143 reviews
159 of 191 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not For 40K Fans Oct. 29 2011
By Nickolas X. P. Sharps - Published on Amazon.com
This review is bound to inflame other Warhammer 40,000 fans but I feel like I would betraying the franchise not to express my opinion. The Ultramarines movie was a big step for the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and it generated a lot of excitement. When I found out about the movie I was ecstatic. At one point in time I even had the special edition box set pre-ordered from the official website. Fortunately for me funds ran low and I wasn't able to make the purchase. A month later I watched the movie with a friend who had gotten the movie and I couldn't have been more disappointed.

A lot of the excitement around the Ultramarines Movie project came from the announcement that mega author Dan Abnett would be writing the screenplay. First let me say that I have nothing but respect for Dan Abnett. I cannot name a single Warhammer 40,000 book he has written that I have not enjoyed completely. And I've read them all. Dan Abnett is by far the best author in the ranks of the Black Library publishing company and if there was ever anyone who could write the script for a 40K movie it would be him. That said, I'd like to believe that Abnett never even touched the script. There is no depth to the plot. None whatsoever. My guess is that Abnett jokingly handed the Ultramarines Movie staff a couple sentences scribbled on a restaurant napkin and told them to run with it. And they did.

The plot of the Ultramarines movie is thin, watery, and linear. A squad of Ultramarines (don't expect them to remember their names or faces) travel to a desolate world to relieve a beleaguered force of Imperial Fists. Once upon the planet the squad walks for a bit, bickers back and forth like school kids, walks for a bit more, bickers, walks, bickers, walks...you get my drift. The dialogue is laughable though the voice acting is very well done. The Ultramarines do not act anything like the Ultramarines depicted in 40K fiction. Their enemies, the Black Legion behave more like Khorne beserkers than the cunning remnant of Horus Lupercal's sons. The characters are so flat and interchangeable that you won't really be sure who died when. The twists aren't at all twisty. The character models are ugly and muddled as are the backgrounds and set pieces. The architecture doesn't come close to resembling the gothic style of the fiction. The action is bland and boring. I really can't find enough bad things to say about the movie.

This is one of those movies that people say, "For fans only." But in all honesty, fans of 40K need to stay way clear of the Ultramarines Movie. I hope I didn't offend anyone, this is after all just my opinion. But the truth is that this is a very bleak omen that lessens the possibilities of a REAL 40K movie down the road.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With the Right Expectations You'll Like It. March 1 2013
By Aegean BM - Published on Amazon.com
Warhammer 40K is a universe with many introductions: miniatures, board games, card games, video games, books, and now a movie. Many of the bad reviews are from people claiming their view is the orthodox view. They are mad in the same way as that familiar criticism of any movie "The book was much better. Why did they have to change ..." Even though the movie has new characters, the subject matter experts have strong opinions about how those characters should truly be. "Apothecaries are supposed to be bad asses. Why is this one cautious? Why is the chapter captain and cleric running around with a squad of recruits?" Give it a break. The Imperium of Man has a million worlds over thousands of years and this can't happen once?

If you watch it expecting it to be in the spirit of space marines, and you don't nit pick the details, you will enjoy it.

As others have said, the voice acting is great. The animation is on par with good in-game video cuts, that is, good, not great.

I gave it 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've seen it 3 times. It's the only 40k movie existing. I'd like to see more. In time I'd like to lower my rating because there are so many other 40k movies to compare with. For now, I'm happy with the first attempt.
46 of 61 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Releasing a bad movie on Blu-ray does not make it better. Oct. 20 2011
By Karl - Published on Amazon.com
I have been playing / collecting WH40k for 23 years and I have read all the books....I really find it hard to believe Dan Abenet wrote the script I think he just wrote the name of the movie on a piece of paper and some one else wrote it. Dan is a GREAT Author and his name on it is what sold the movie. The animation was really bad and jerky the Dawn of War trailers were 1000% better than this movie. I went to the New York City showing of this movie on the big screen and it was even more horrible to watch. During the Q&A after the movie the producer admitted to not knowing anything about 40K saying "well I may have painted 1 or 2 figurines for my brother when I was younger but I never played the game and I have not read any of the novels." OOOOO KAY buddy no wonder this movie is horrible because the guy had no love nor passion for the game and its history he was just out to make a quick buck.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So bad that it gets insulting :( Jan. 23 2013
By Immortal - Published on Amazon.com
As a huge 40K fan (I commit 2 hours (in average) daily to the IP in different ways), I was ecstatic when this got announced. After watching the movie with a friend I was horrified. Did Dan Abnett write this script or did they buy the right to use his name? I don't know...Crazy mindless Black Legion Berserkers? Ultramarine Scout squad in full power armor? A Fist Chaplain with some kind of unnamed repulsion-field technology. An empty Astartes vessel? Horrible story, infinitely boring dialogues. The characters? Flat and boring.

The overall quality of the animation screams low-budget though that's not a real problem in my opinion, still it it really really bad, also the faces are horribly done, utterly super-bad! Wow!

I don't want to offend anyone but it sickens me that some have given this movie positive reviews. Stand against this blasphemy of the Warhammer 40K Lore, don't buy it. We deserve far better than this.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Step for 40K Cinema March 10 2013
By S. Tortorice - Published on Amazon.com
Ultramarines deals with - yes - a squad of Ultramarines who are sent to investigate a distress beacon on the planet of Mithron, home to an important imperial shrine. Without giving too much away, this hardy bunch of the Emperor's finest soon discover that the sinister forces of Chaos are at work. From there, the movie proceeds according to standard Space Marine codex operating procedures, i.e., burn the heretic! Ha! This straightforward plot is largely executed by the numbers, something that, unfortunately, leaves little room for surprises or plot twists. As a result, the plot is ultimately little more than a pretext for the Space Marines to do their stuff.

However, having said that, Ultramarines deserves high praise for faithfully - an important term when it comes to 40K - delivering a movie that truly does capture the essence of 40K. This is no small feat seeing how so many other studios could have - nay, would have - over-simplified and butchered the complex lore of this setting (and believe me, 40K, being a 20+ year old franchise, has lore deeper and more complex than Tolkien's Middle Earth!). It is all in here: the Cult of the Emperor, the daemonic forces of Chaos, bolters, chainswords, seals of purity...all that good stuff that makes 40K...well, 40K.

The CGI is quite impressive at times and is loaded with all sorts of wonderful detail, even down to the texture of the Space Marine armor. In addition to the often lavish detail, the art direction of the CGI, one that combines a detailed realism with a bit of a graphic novel shaded cell technique, gave this movie a very distinctive look, one that is well suited to the nature of 40K's oft epic artwork. Even the combat scenes were deftly handled, and not without a bit of gore (parents might want to keep this in mind). Not everything is perfect, though, as I found the facial animations to be emotionally flat and devoid of life, with the Space Marines having a walking/gliding gait that seems thoroughly rigid and unrealistic at times.

The voice acting was quite good, too. I guess this is no surprise considering the talented cast of voice actors, including Terence Stamp, John Hurt, and Sean Pertwee. Likewise, the music was first rate and filled with medieval sounding chants that are so suited to the warrior monks who are Space Marines.

All things considered, I consider Ultramarines to be a success. Sure, 40K purists might find a few things to grumble about (such as the chapter strike cruiser being seemingly staffed by about a crew of twelve - in the novels, these things have thousands of souls upon them), but despite a handful of flaws, the movie delivers the goods and is most definitely a 40K film that remains faithful to the setting we all love.

I think the best thing about this movie, though, is how it serves as an excellent warp gate...er, entry point to introduce new people to this franchise. Ultramarines seems to me to have been primarily conceived as a first big toe into a larger audience. While there is a lot of 40K lore in this film, it also strikes me as being carefully tailored so as to not overwhelm those who might be unfamiliar with this European import franchise. Again, in this way it is a success. I hope to see Ultramarines being gifted to kids who have been lulled to sleep by years of Jim Kirk and Anakin Skywalker (40K parents: get your kids to watch this NOW!!!!), as well as it making an appearance on Adult Swim for adult fans of anime (time to take a break from the equally tired influx of Asian "samurais in space" anime). This idea is further reinforced by some of the excellent bonus content on this DVD, including an animated graphic novel that serves as a prequel to the events in this movie (quite good - tyrannids! - and explains why only a squad of Space Marines were sent to investigate the beacon), and a short featurette detailing the backstory for Space Marines in general. I found both to provide a good foundation for those new to this setting.

In short: if you are a fan of Warhammer 40K, do yourself a favor and rent/buy this movie. It is not perfect, but it is a good first step. And remember: "Blessed is the mind too small for doubt."
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