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Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie(2010)
No synopsis for Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie.
For more about Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie and the Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray release, see Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 28, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Martyn Pick
Starring: Terence Stamp, John Hurt
» See full cast & crew
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray Review
The few, the proud, the CGI'd.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 28, 2013
We never yield.
They're big, they're usually blue, and they're ready to take down some bad guys in style. Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie is a 2010 CGI animated film sourced from the Warhammer 4000 universe, beginning its life as a tabletop game played with collectible figures and dice, adapted into multiple video games, and now made into a feature-length picture. It's a wide universe with a rich fictional history of a far-distant future, enjoyed by thousands and, of course, a movie seemed kind of inevitable. After all, if it's in any way successful these days, a movie it becomes, and with the advent of digitally created films, there's not even much of a need to worry about the sort of budgets a good live adaptation would require. Unfortunately, Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie isn't quite at the top of the CGI film totem pole. It joins the ranks of other, similarly styled Sci-Fi CGI films -- the generic and linear Dead Space: Aftermath and the visually bland video game cutscene-styled Starship Troopers: Invasion -- that hardcore fans of the Warhammer universe might enjoy, but it's not the movie to take it into the casual mainstream.
In the 41st millennium, mankind lives in a perpetual state of war. The Earth is ruled by a single emperor who leads the battle of the horrors of deep space from afar, "chaos daemons" that leak into this reality. Only the vaunted "space marines" stand between the daemons and mankind's total destruction. The marines are called "more than mortal," the "champions of mankind," and bringers of "steel and doom." The greatest of the space marines are the "UltraMarines," futuristic nights clad in advanced armor and bearing the most devastating weapons known to man. Following a routine training exercise, the UltraMarines are sent on a mission to an alien world, and they crave the blood of their enemies. There are but twelve; the nearest unit of fighting size is some distance away, leaving them and them alone to square off against a deadly foe. Little do they know, however, that perhaps the most fearsome enemy they could ever face may already be amongst their ranks.
There are two overreaching negatives that drag down Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie from solid, mindless entertainment to near the level of "chore" movie watching. First, the film's CGI is not only dark and dreary and, on the planet, often shrouded in a dusty haze, but it takes on the appearance of a video game cut scene. There's no heart to the visuals; it's all very cold and, while sometimes nicely detailed, hardly the cutting edge of digital animation. Certainly nobody expects Pixar-level performance in a film of this size, but the faux "realism" of this brand of digital doesn't work all that well in the feature-length realm. Second, Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie simply plays with very little in the way of plot originality. It's a terribly linear, one-dimensional story that basically consists of mild character and universe exposition in between a few largely repetitive battle scenes that all lead up to the film's reveal and final confrontation, which itself feels somewhat disingenuous and not at all a surprise; even the film's opening minutes telegraph what's to come for audiences familiar with these sorts of standard plot devices. Yet despite these shortcomings, there are a few things to also like about the film that keep it from falling into complete cinematic chaos.
The UltraMarines may be big, bulky killing machines, but they don't have the little brains that seem to always accompany extra size. The film displays some fascinating dynamics that paint the marines as something of the far-future's knights of yore, men spiritually bonded by battle and craving glory in combat, not merely victory. A deep religious thread binds them together, here with "God" or "king" replaced by "the emperor," Earth's future ruler/overseer to whom the men, in a way, pray for guidance and lay down their lives in his honor. Dialogue is classically styled, too; "my belly growls for a taste of actual combat," one solider says, and he'll get his wish. Though the battle scenes are largely repetitive with only few surprise weapons, they're at least extremely loud and occasionally intense, particularly following expository scenes in which the film succeeds in creating a chilling sense of pending peril on the alien world. Unfortunately, the deeply-felt sense of dread is almost cancelled by terribly cliché dialogue about "bad feelings" and what not that threaten to ruin the atmosphere, but once the guns begin firing and the accompanying bass scrambles audiences' brains, things settle into a more mindless comfort zone in which the linear story advances towards its unsurprising finale.
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie isn't a high end animated reference title, but it scrapes by with passing marks in all areas. The image looks a bit washed out at times, with some less-than-deep black levels and what seems like an almost perpetual light haze. Details are never fantastic, even when the transfer reveals some fine wear and tear on weapons and armor or some good, complex, up-close character skin textures in the way of age lines, battle scars, hairs, and extra-human pieces. It's not perfectly sharp, either. Colors are fairly bland; the general hues -- blue armor, the barren earth tones of the alien world -- are handled well enough, but vibrant and robust this palette is not. There's some light noise and a bit of shimmering to be seen throughout. This is a passable transfer, but viewers won't be dazzled by the results.
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie features a potent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack that opens with a bang, an incredibly aggressive battle that punishes every speaker with a barrage of gunfire and screaming at high volume. Dialogue does get lost almost entirely under the mayhem, however. The track spits out plenty of gunfire throughout that rips the stage to shreds. It's accompanied by deep, powerful bass that rattles the listening area to its core and only sometimes rattles around. There's strong dialogue reverberation in more cavernous areas, and the spoken word is generally clear when not assaulted by extra effects. Music is aggressively spaced and suitably clear. Whether music, action, or ambiance, the surround speakers are almost constantly engaged. This is a fun, invigorating track that should please all comers.
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie's supplemental collection is headlined by a thirty-minute documentary.
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie is an imperfect picture -- the animation is nothing exciting, the plot is practically nonexistent, and the action is repetitive -- but it does offer decent mindless entertainment at the end of the day, and there are a few disquieting moments and some interesting character dynamics that are more part of the group rather than the largely indistinguishable individual players beyond the two primaries who bookend the film. Fans of the game will probably enjoy it, but newcomers should probably opt for a rental. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray features fair video and aggressive audio. A few extras are included, amongst them a thirty-minute documentary.
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Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie - March 4, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Anchor Bay are offering three members an opportunity to win a copy of Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie. The first feature length movie interpretation of the internationally successful Warhammer 40,000 Universe arrives on Blu-ray on March ...
• Ultramarines: Warhammer 40,000 Blu-ray Clip and Bonus Feature - February 23, 2013
Anchor Bay Entertainment has issued a new clip and bonus feature segment from the upcoming Blu-ray release of Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie. The first feature length movie interpretation of the internationally successful Warhammer 40,000 Universe arrives ...
• Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Blu-ray - January 8, 2013
Anchor Bay Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray release of Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie, the first feature-length movie interpretation of the internationally successful Warhammer 40,000 universe. With more than 45-minutes of bonus content ...
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