Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie [Blu-Ray] Martyn Pick

Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie [Blu-Ray] Martyn Pick
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Whether or not its homoerotic undertones are intentional, they make this cheap computer animated spin-off of Game Workshop's popular tabletop miniature war-game franchise more bearable to sit through. I mean, come on, these are space marines who pledge fealty to a giant hammer and reproduce by recycling their "gene-seed" without the aid of the opposite sex. In fact, there isn't a single female to be found anywhere in this universe, as presented by Martyn Pick's embarrassingly bland and generic motion picture. A comment mid-film about letting the fleet's chaplain "sniff out the taint" just throws fuel on the speculative fire. In a fan-baiting project this desultory, you've got to find fun where you can. For anyone who isn't already acquainted with this strange sci-fi fantasy hybrid, the mythology is as convoluted as it is silly. The Ultramarines are decked out in battle suits that take more than a few design cues from the armour of medieval knights; their mother ship resembles a giant floating castle; and they fight demons — sorry daemons — along with aliens. After a clunky blast of exposition and a great deal of rudimentary talk of honour borrowed from the middle ages, the meagre plot drops a fleet of these space knights into a mission that would be perfectly at home in a bargain bin videogame. The lucky squadron of gun-toting meat pawns lands in a vaguely rendered desolate environment after receiving a distress call from an "Imperial Shrine World." Once they touch down, it takes a while for the action to ramp up, with displays of competitive alpha male horse plop peppering the plodding investigation. Eventually, the largely faceless tin can warriors do battle with zombies and some demon beast things, but only the most extreme super-fans will be able to derive anything resembling pleasure from this horribly written and animated nonsense. Your average videogame looks far better and has a more coherent and compelling storyline. The producers must have blown the budget on hiring the likes of John Hurt and Terence Stamp to do voice work. If you're invested enough to want to see this movie, there are plenty of special features to feed your addiction: demon production design stills; a mythos lesson with the Games Workshop team; an unnecessarily long "Making Of," complete with the delusional filmmaker banter; and a crap-tastic motion comic "prequel." This desultory franchise extension is a niche curiosity, to say the least. (Anchor Bay)