Batman: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of a Beloved Superhero

This past weekend there was a back to back marathon of all the Batman movies on ABC Family. I watched them all, in chronological order, cringing and cheering depending on the moment. Is it just me, or did the films get progressively terrible as the franchise continued? It seems that the entire series plummeted downhill after the second one, Batman Returns. Batman and Robin? Come on, people… You can’t have thought that was a good movie. And Uma! I love you, girl.. but what were you thinking?? Not to mention Mr. Freeze and his plastic ice lair…

All of that, put together with a seemingly drunken Batman (George Clooney, I abhor thee), a cartoony Robin and a phoned-in performance by Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) made for one of the worst experiences I’ve had watching a movie. How is it possible that a stellar cast could collectively do a horrible job?

Now, you know me, I love me some camp. But there’s a distinct difference between the hilariously bad, and the badly bad. The kind of bad that is so bad because the cast and crew just apparently gave up. It’s like they were coasting on the success of the previous films. They didn’t even try.

Now, enter the saving grace of a beloved superhero, 2005’s Batman Begins. This is a much more realistic, much darker interpretation, and thank God for that. Christian Bale takes us on a journey that made billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne into a crime fighting, raspy-voiced lord of the night. I adore this movie. Cillian Murphy as the scarecrow… holy sh&*! Terrifyingly awesome. Liam Neeson? Yes. That guy hasn’t seen a bad acting day in his life. Sidenote: his portrayal of a pervy ghost in High Spirits (1988) is inspired. Such a funny movie, and Steve Guttenberg is in it. Now that is some good camp!

Now that we’ve acknowledged that the Batman franchise has had its ups and downs, we can get back to the amazingness that is the new incarnation. Since Batman Begins, there have been two new films, each incredible in both storyline and execution. The Dark Knight (2008) and the latest in the bunch The Dark Knight Rises (2012) were both great movies in their own right, but that’s a chat for another day…

Right now, I want to show you some of the awesome Batman gear Heavenly Swords has in stock for you. Let’s put away the bad, and focus on the greatness that is Batman today. Here are a few items to get your blood lust going:

Batman Dark Knight Mask

This is a perfect replica of the mask worn by Christian Bale. It has an adjustable Velcro strap so it can be worn on any size head. Made from resin, it is very durable. When you aren’t fighting crime, you can hang it on your wall with the included wall hanger. Just don’t do that if you’re trying to keep your identity hidden…

Dark Knight Rises Bokken

Now you can combine your love for Batman with your love for swords. This is a bokken, which is in itself a great weapon. It’s basically a wooden practice sword. This one would be perfect for cosplay, or just to practice your katana moves without lethally injuring anyone.

Batman Battle Axe Batax

Now this weapon is no joke. It has super sharp stainless steel blades, and is overall about 10” long. It’s the perfect throwing axe, but be careful!

These are just a few of the many Batman products we carry. We have arm guards, throwing stars, and double bladed folding knives, so check us out!!

 

 

Kill Bill: Swords For Everyone

Few movies capture the violent beauty of a good martial arts film like Kill Bill does. Much less with a bunch of fierce female assassins. Kill Bill was released in two parts, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. It’s a mad thrill ride by Quentin Tarantino, where we follow Beatrix Kiddo (aka The Bride, aka Black Mamba) as she seeks revenge on the group of fellow assassins who tried to kill her and her unborn child. We watch as she slices through dozens of people with her trusty Hattori Hanzo sword, which the man forged especially for her. Especially so she could seek revenge on the infamous Bill.

She makes a list of all the people responsible for her tragedy. One by one she finds them, and kills them. With stellar performances from not only Uma Thurman, but Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah and David Carradine himself, this film was an instant classic. Tarantino drew inspiration from action films he loved as a child, referencing such classics as Game of Death, the 1978 Bruce Lee movie, Once Upon A Time In The West (1968), Lady Snowblood (1973), and Fists of Fury, another Bruce Lee classic of 1972. For a really cool montage go here. All those movies are awesome and worth watching on their own.

Quentin Tarantino created a masterpiece, seamlessly blending together several genres and decades of cinema into one cohesive and undeniably engaging piece. The weapons created for the film were unforgettable, and you can have your very own collection. Now you can be ready in case the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad ever comes looking for you. Here are just a few:

Kill Bill Bride Sword Full Tang Battle Ready

The true star of the the entire film, this sword was at the very least Uma Thurman’s costar. Without it the movie wouldn’t have been the same, and now you can have your very own battle ready Hattori Hanzo sword. It is 40” long, with a lacquered hardwood scabbard and a table stand, for easy display.

Kill Bill 2 – O-ren Ishii Samurai Katana

In the most memorable fight sequence of the decade, Uma Thurman sliced through Oren Ishii’s gang, the Crazy 88, just to have a chance at hand to hand combat with Oren Ishii herself. Now you can own her iconic sword. This unique piece is beautiful, and deadly.

Musashi Kill Bill Budd’s Sword 38 3/4″

The man who buried Black Mamba alive owned one of the last Hattori Hanzo swords ever crafted. Now you can have this exact replica, complete with the engraving Bill left. It states, “To My Brother Budd, The Only Man I Ever Loved -Bill” It comes extra sharp and is over 38” in length.

Kill Bill – Handmade Bills Sword

This is a hand forged replica blade is crafted from the finest quality 1045 carbon steel and measures 41” overall. Fashioned after the movie original, this sword comes with its own black cotton sword bag and black lacquer sword stand so you can display it proudly, the way Bill would.

 

 

 

Movies With Swords: 300

“This is Sparta!”

The 2006 action film has left those words imprinted in the brain of anyone who saw it. A visual masterpiece, the film was shot with a “super-imposition chroma key” technique. Don’t ask me what that means, I just know it looked really cool. The movie is based on the critically acclaimed 1998 comic by Frank Miller. The artwork of the comic was so stunningly integral to the story, that the film makers had to adopt a similar look to mimic the environment these soldiers were in. I don’t think this film would’ve worked without it.

The story is narrated by a soldier named Dilios. He tells us what happened from his perspective, and creates a world where fantasy and fact become intertwined. He tells the legend, not the history, and we eat it up.

Dilios tells the story of Leonidas, from the encounter with a wolf that made him a man, to his becoming king of Sparta. When prompted by a messenger to submit to Xerxes, the kind of Persia, Leonidas kicks him into a bottomless hole. This of course, would lead to war… the rest is history. Literally.

Both the comic and the movie were based on the writings of Herodotus, widely regarded as one of the first historians in Western literature. His writings were put together into a book called “The Histories”, and they serve as a record of ancient traditions, politics and important events of the Mediterranean. It chronicles the rise of the Persian Empire, and tells a detailed account of the Battle of Thermopylae, where the real story took place.

The bottom line is, there once was an actual King Leonidas, and he really did battle an army of about 800,000 Persians with only about 300 men. In reality they lost, but his courage and sacrifice lived on. It lived on so long, that Gerard Butler depicted him in a movie almost 2,500 years later… Now that is fame. Not only that, but the tactics he used to fight the Persians are still used in battle today. How awesome is that?

So if you want to honor King Leonidas too, Heavenly Swords has a whole lot of Spartan stuff to help you!

300 – King Leonidas Sword

This detailed replica has a 26”, razor sharp carbon steel blade. It is 34” overall, and comes with a leather sheath and waistband.

300 – Spartan Warrior Shield

This is an exact replica from the movie. It‘s made from cast aluminum with a rubberized backing and has a thick wooden handle and an adjustable nylon strap for a perfect fit.

300 Spartan Helmet

You’ll feel like you traveled back in time when you put this helmet on your noggin.

300 Greaves

Your armor is almost complete with this set of greaves. They’re made of high quality steel and finished in antiqued brass for an authentic look.

And that’s only the beginning. Don’t forget to head over to our movie replica sections to check out the rest of our stuff. You’ll be a complete Spartan warrior in no time. Leonidas would be proud.