Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Curse of Imagination

I watched Ultramarines over the weekend and, as both a fan of the 40k Universe and a graduate in Computer Animation & Special Effects, I was worried.

For almost 20 years now, I've had the GRIMDARK of the 40k Universe floating around in my mind, whether the original - almost unplayable - Rogue Trader book, all the way up to whatever edition they're peddling at the moment. I've read the books and the comics, played the games (both tabletop and computer-based)... all that jazz.

The voice line-up is a long list of great British actors with memorable voices, all of whom have Hey, It's That Voice! about them. The animation is... pretty good. Armour, buildings, etc, look just great. The paper bits of the purity seals blowing gently in the wind, for instance, looks great. Standing there in their armour, the Marines themselves look great.

Then they take their helmets off, and start walking around. They all look pretty much the same with their shaved heads and lantern jaws, with only their amount of scars to really differentiate them. Some of the movement looks perfectly natural, but a lot of the time it looks like there is no weight to them whatsoever. Proteus and some other marine leaping about, climbing up and across a ruined bridge looks like the wind throwing rag dolls around.

Plus the faces look like leather and stand out as being odd against the armour, the Chaos marines are pretty appalling, and the story feels like it's been stretched out to fill the however-many minutes required. The dialogue is pretty pants, but it got me thinking that in a comic, it'd be just fine. When it's spoken by actors with real gravitas in their voice, it just sounds cheesy.

For the TL:DR out there, just read: Ultramarines would have made a great graphic novel. Shame about the 'movie'. Could have been worse, though, much worse.

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