Ultramarines movie: Wife's Persepctive

This is a Guest Post by my Wife.

A few days ago, my husband came home with a fancy little box from the hobby store. Fancy meaning not the typical magazine/book or model shaped item. I could tell that it was special, because it was a case inside of a case. That means special and expensive.

But no worries, he had Christmas money to burn and I figured he had done just that. So it sat on the dresser by the front door until one night after dinner when I asked him, “What’s that thingy you brought home from the hobby store?
“Oh that? It’s a movie,” he replied.
“A movie? Of what?” I asked him.
“Little Men,” he replied.

Hmmm… my fascinated ears perked up.
“Did you buy it?” I asked him.
“No, someone is letting me borrow it,” he told me.
“Oh ok, well I’m going to bed, and I’m going to read for a little bit,” I tell him.

We part ways, only for him to show up at the end of the bed quietly putting the movie disc into the DVD player.
“Do you mind if I watch part of this?” He asked.
“Sure I say, it won’t bother me,” I answer.

Believe me when I say I have no interest in watching a “little man” movie. Of course he fiddles with the three remotes that it takes to just turn on the TV and DVD player on until I can’t stand to see him struggle anymore and I take the remotes and do it for him. I couldn’t help but notice the WARNING that pops up and states something about bright flashing lights and epilepsy.

This can’t be good I think, so I go back to my book. I can tell he’s involved in this movie. How you ask? Because after eight and a half years of marriage I know that when he watches TV or movies he always sits on the edge of the bed with his legs hanging down from the bed and this posture never changes. But tonight, his legs were crossed in front of him “Indian style” as he leaned in closer to the TV screen. It was like watching a 7 year old on Saturday morning watching a new episode of He-Man. He was engaged and mesmerized. I was tuned out, but couldn’t ignore the pathetic sound of strained voices trying to sound tough. I peered over my book and caught a glimpse of cartoon figures dressed in heavy armor on a bad back drop of a dull landscape.
“How much money did they spend to make this movie?” I ask.
“A lot I’m sure, but they also didn’t have a limitless budget either.” he says.

“Well that explains it,” I reply.
I wasn’t trying to be negative, it was just so apparent that it lacked… everything. I go back to my reading, unbeknownst to him I was secretly watching over the top of my book. Why if I thought it was so bad? Because it was actually very interesting.

He eventually caught me peering, so I gave in and set my book on the bedside table and we watched the entire movie together. Yes, it definitely needed some work. Especially the landscape and background. Those elements are just as important as the characters and story line. In the retail world, we say it’s all about the attention to details and the same rings true for movies.

The armor was believable, it looked just like the little guys that my husband has painted. He’s such a good sport, I was asking a million questions about the armor color and significance, why they were pinning a seal and ribbon on them and what each symbol meant.
“Oh my gosh, that guy has a chainsaw on him arm and he just sawed someone’s head in half!!! That’s like the saw you painted on what’s his face’s model!”
“Yes Honey, that’s the one,” he says.
He was kind of scared that I was getting so excited.
It was so cool to see walking and talking images of the little plastic men that fill the display case in his studio. I was impressed with the story line. I was totally not expecting… if you have not seen the movie, skip to next paragraph…to see that the Captain was the Deamon and not the Chaplain.
Talk about a twist at the end. Very nice.

I’m assuming that the “war hammer” used to kill the big bad beast is the equivalent to Excalibur? Interesting that it’s a hammer. How did the creator of Warhammer come up with that and what is it’s originating significance? Who is the master mind behind Warhammer 40k?

What really interests me though, is why someone hasn’t picked this up for a movie or Saturday morning cartoon? A lesser violent version of course. Think about how Games Workshop could market the dolls. Sized like Star Wars figures. Different colors like in the game, all of the appropriate detail to the armor, interchangeable chainsaw arms. Space ship sets with little speeder bikes.

Think of what Games Workshop could do if this fell into the hands of a wealthy movie producer. We all know these days they just reproduce movies that have already been done once before on the big screen. This could be so cool. But should they keep it animated or real life? It’s so neat to think about what GW could do with this.

I guess they would just rather sit on their money than take a chance. Thankfully Spielberg (I think she means Lucas -Ron) took a chance with Star Wars and look what we have today…an Empire. But back to the movie. I’d love to see a big time producer with a huge budget make a Warhammer 40,000 movie.

Overall, I would rate this movie as “Good.” Of course, in the category of new movie/low budget. I too was mesmerized by it in some weird quirky way. In the end, don’t run out and buy this one, borrow it from a friend, sit back an watch the little men come to life.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Oh dear, Spielberg took a chance on Star Wars? Quick EDIT!!!

    On the movie, the problem with a big budget 40k movie is GW holding too tightly to the reigns of the IP. A well done CGI movie coasts many millions, and real studio won't let GW tell them what to do with the story - look at all the changes made to a movie like Lord of the Rings.

  2. Tom: I give them a quick edit before getting published, but what she writes gets posted pretty much as is. I think it lends to quality of her posts.

    Funny thing is, I read it and missed it too!

  3. I think your wife and mine have a lot in common.

    As for the movie. It spelt out the potential of the IP eh? I was so bitterly disappointed. Not because it was a low budget, not because it was their first go. But because there was so much that should and could have been done better.

    The story is OK, but in low budget movies it needs to be really good.

    The whole thing catches your attention precisely because no matter who you are there are literally dozens of things that you would have done better. Less walking, more focus on character and dialogue. More focus of detail by the characters, better inherent explanations.

    Not to mention a far more developed focus on the target audience. If the movie is for fans then assume they know everything. If for everyone then run with the idea that they know nothing.

    My wife and I watched it together. We enjoyed it, to a point, but the evening we spent talking about it was the most enjoyable part by some margin. My wife was halfway through reading "First Heretic" aloud to me, (Long story that one) and we enjoyed talking about the background and characters and places far more than we did the movie.

    Does that make sense. The fact that it was a Warhammer movie was far better than any other single thing about it.

    Genius to get your wife to post something too! Thank you very much for your review!

  4. This is actually the most enjoyable review of the movie I've read, and possibly the best - it feels like the truest reaction, most uncoloured by a sense of the stakes or tribalism. It's a refreshing view of the hobby too, not to mention an intriguing look in on the Saikowski household! Great post.

  5. I really want to see it, but I don't want to buy it. I'm hoping one of the guys in my Gaming Club picks it up.

  6. Loved the review! Your wife has a very interesting way of describing things and this description was just so.. genuine and unspoiled by fanboy-ism..

  7. Interesting perspective. I own the movie and have also seen it (my wife on the other hand fell asleep. I will use that to get out of seeing the next extreme horror flick she wants to see.). A few thoughts.

    It wasn't bad. It just didn't blow me away and I think that is what we wanted to be. Blown away.
    I think they were smart to not have a more complicated story or add in too much. The damn 40k universe is so big in terms of backstory that explaining it in a movie takes too much time. Think about your favorite movies and how little background they contain.
    Do. Not. Let. Lucas. Touch. Warhammer. Nothing Lucas made is good because of him.
    Also don't PG13 more things for me. PG13 Warhammer would be as much fun as R rated Teletubbies for toddlers.
    My guess is that the budget was a tiny fraction of what Hollywood productions use. I hope they make more movies.
    Dan Abnett suffers from epilepsy which could be the reason for the warning. Or some UK law. I didn't notice and unusual amount of blinking.
    Only actually bad visual part of the movie was the movement, it was awful.

    If they make a live action version they should use the same producers/directors as kick-ass.

    Everything 40k was very 40k which was awesome. The sound and music was fantastic and I was really bumbed out that Dan treated the Imperial Fists that way. Booooh Dan. Don't do that again.

  8. It great to see somebody who has no involvement with the hobby's perspective. It's great as there is no real expectation in the first place

  9. Might want to add a bigger spoiler warning to this post. I just had the movie ruined for me :-(

  10. I have watched it now and was pretty disappointed. There are too many things that just failed and I wasn't drawn into it. It is not how I imagined the 40K universe nor space marines after reading some of the Horus heresy books and other fluff.

    Most importantly the Dawn of War trailer is better than the whole thing. This is what the next animation/live action needs to be like or better than


  11. Good to read a review about this movie that isn't coming from the foaming mouth of a fanboy.

  12. There must be a genetic trait that causes females to call miniatures "little men" - mine does too.

    Nice review, especially from the female/non-fanboy perspective. My son REALLY wants to watch this, so hopefully we can borrow or rent it.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  13. the thing is that when when Proteus asks the chaplain how they survived i think that GW actually could not think of an answer so they just said you don't want to know =)

  14. i do hope in the next movie they make a lascanon or a meltagun or a plasmacanon that would just be wicked=)

  15. My missus calls them little men as well.

    As for why they havent been picked up, eventually it wouldn't surprise me but for years GW was run by gamers for gamers rather than by suits for profit.


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