I just watched this video: http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2011/01/17/one-rat-short/ (a video made 5 years ago)
One Rat Short from Charlex on Vimeo.
While I already reviewed Ultramarines, it got me thinking and I suddenly became very disappointed in Games Workshop - here's a small production by an advertising studio flexing it's muscles to say "We do more than commercials now." and they win all sorts of awards for it's animation and story and I've seen plenty of student films that look better than Ultramarines did.
This is an age where it's easy to get funding for movies based on geek culture - look at the Superhero boom. I'm not just talking about successes like X-Men and Iron Man - lets look at the failures; Sure Catwoman and Elektra were baaad, but they keep remaking Hulk and even though emo-Spiderman failed in it's last movie they're rebooting the franchise with a new actor starting from "With great power comes great responsibility" all over again! Then you get other high production value movies like Avatar that blows the world away on a man's vision and a script, with no backstory like 40k has or movies like Skyline that are simple "Look at all my fancy CG".
Enter a movie based on three DECADES of history, fans worldwide, the definitive tabletop miniature game, that's already expanded into a massive collection of novels and comic books. Science fiction super-soldiers battling the forces of Chaos on a barren planet (or any other fluff / existing novel) should be an EASY sell to a major studio today to get the financial backing required to make a full feature movie. (Chronicles of Riddick is probably more obscure than 40k, but that became a trilogy) Really picture it - any action sequence from a rulebook's fluff or any battle we've played out up on the big screen - how awesome an action movie would that make?
(Or give it to Kevin Smith and we'll at least laugh for two hours as he and Muse move minis across someone's backyard ala Honey I Shrunk the Kids - though to be fair, Chasing Amy and Jersey girl showed his chops in other areas and I'm looking forward to Red State.)
Instead we get Ultramarines.
I think I can safely say the same quality of animation and texturing for everything but faces existed in Babylon 5, 18 years ago in 1993 and surpassed by the lesser known Lexx in 1997, just 14 years ago.
The trailer for the upcoming "Space Marine" video game looks better and gets me more excited than anything that was in Ultramarines. (and a good chunk of this trailer is in-game graphics, rather than pre-rendered CG)
Ultramarines does not hit theaters, it goes straight to an overpriced direct-order "special edition" DVD we probably won't even see in movie rental stores or Walmart's $5 bins and Games Workshop's chance to actually get a foothold in mainstream media (with all the rewards that go in suit) fffff-izzles.
Hmm, I suppose /endRant... but I think that's a good way of looking at the Ultramarines venture. It wasn't a terrible movie, maybe you could say it was "ok" or "alright" but I certainly wouldn't say "great" - and I mean really, everything about 40k seems to scream "Make me a full feature blockbuster!" so why didn't Games Workshop give it their all, rather than stamp of approval something that a world full of fans was just going to say "meh" and *shrug*? (which will surely hang over their heads when they finally try to make a real movie as everyone remembers "the last one" - though maybe "everyone" and "remembers" doesn't really apply to Ultramarines)
If they don't hurry up, Blizzard's going to figure all this out before Games Workshop and the last thing GW needs is to be known as the company that "copied Starcraft".