Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 Topps Fire Baseball

This is the first time I've seen Topps Fire in baseball so I had to pick up a pack of the 2017 Topps Fire baseball cards.  There were 12 cards in the pack.  They are colorful like their cousins the Topps Fire football cards.  Looks like there  are a few different colors that dominate the base cards to include a yellow that I really can't get into .     
There were 10 base cards and I believe the Adrian Beltre card is a Blue Chip exclusive to the fat packs which is what I purchased.  I almost think the Jackie Robinson is a parallel but I can't figure it out.  It is glossier/shinier than the others but I can't tell what it is. The inserts were a Nolan Ryan moniker card and a Edwin Encarnacion walk off card.  I like the concept of both cards especially the walk off.    
The backs are pretty simplistic with not much going on.  I was happy with my pull grabbing Jose Altuve and Beltre who will both go in my personal collection. 
 Do I like them?  Not near as much as the football cards I've seen from this brand.  These are just ok and I won't be buying any more unless it is singles I run across.  Hopefully this will give others a decent look and they can decide on their own if they want to dive in to the Topps Fire baseball cards.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 Review (Minor Spoilers?)

We caught Blade Runner 2049 on opening night.  I have not seen the original so I went into this blind.  I think it was a good movie.  I liked the story which was easy to pick up on even without seeing the original.  The visuals and cinematography was also great.  They are really appealing which help draw you into the world they've created.  Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas are the stars of the movie for me playing K and Joi, his artificial intelligence companion.  They were great.  Harrison Ford is not in the movie as much as you may believe from the trailer.  That isn't a bad thing per se.  His character is fine and serves it's purpose.  He didn't need to be in it any longer.  

There were some negatives for me but none mean the movie wasn't good.  It was long!  Two hours forty-five minutes.  Not only that but the pacing is slow.  Combined that makes for a long movie that felt like a long movie.  It was like they wanted to make each scene an event or overly dramatic - and too long.  Gosling's character K is also a little devoid of emotion so dialogue at times seemed like a first read through of the script as opposed to actual acting.  Take my look at the movie for what it is worth.  For a different perspective our 23 year-old son really enjoyed it.  I would think that if you enjoyed the first movie you'll want to see this movie and would probably enjoy it.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 Commemorative Football Cards

The 2016 Panini Super Bowl 50 Commemorative Football set contains 21 cards.  10 each Broncos and Panther cards as well as a Super Bowl 50 card. 
 I really like the design on these cards.  Nice fully bleed photos, player names and the Super Bowl 50 logo.  The cards aren't numbered which is odd but I the biggest of deals.  
I really think the Super Bowl card (left) could have been so much more.  Big logo, football with the logo, stadium in the background, throw some players in there too, or about anything else and it would be something. As is the only thing I like is the football.  With the logo it is a good looking ball.  The rest is pretty bland.  The backs have a quick write-up and stats on the players.  That is only one card though and do like this set and I'll be searching for more Super Bowl oriented sets.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hell House LLC Movie

Another random Halloween appropriate movie myself, the wife and daughter watched tonight is Hell House LLC.  We watched it off Amazon Prime and really enjoyed it.  A group who create and run haunted houses pick the wrong house as things go bad.  Made in documentary style I just felt like I kept wanting to see more, to see what would happened next and what would be revealed in the end.  Obviously this falls into the scary movie genre and if you like those I think you may enjoy this movie.  I wanted to pass on what we thought to any who may be looking for a scary movie to watch this October.  MOVIE TRAILER

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2014 Panini Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Football Cards

Looking at the 2014 Panini Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Football Cards this week.  These were created after the Super Bowl.  Similar in design to the Super Bowl XLVIII Collection set but these cards focus on the winning Seattle Seahawks and includes cards with photos from the game itself.
 There are 18 cards in this set with some cards using the same fronts from the Super Bowl Collection set.  The backs do have updated write-ups.
  I like this set though a set with just photos from the Super Bowl itself would have been great.  But I won't complain.  This is a nice set and I enjoy these sets that center on the biggest game of the year.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

Static Signal Movie Review

Dark Signal is not a film I knew anything about but the wife and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  We like the horror, thriller, and paranormal thrillers that go along with this time of the year.  The official synopsis is "The spirit of a murdered girl returns with a message for the staff of a local radio station." but that really doesn't seem to do it justice.  We randomly picked this one from Netflix and the trailer can be seen here.  There is a lot going on in this movie but it is in a good way that keeps you engaged throughout.  The different story lines are  brought together nicely at the end while different twists throughout keep you guessing.  I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to give too much away but we thought it was good watch and wanted to share.  P.S. It is a British film.       

Sunday, October 1, 2017

2014 Panini Super Bowl XLVIII Collection Football Cards

It is football Sunday and I picked up a few Super Bowl centric sets that I want to share over the course of this month.  All three were pretty cheap online so I didn't need much convincing to pick them up.  I like sets that concentrate on the Super Bowl and all-star games and Panini has done that with some of the recent games.  This is the 2014 Panini Super Bowl XLVIII Collection set.  
Nice enough card with photos of the players against an artsy background and a large NYNJ logo that seemed a bit large and out of place.  The backs gave a quick write-up on the player and a nice Super Bowl logo which might have also been nice on the fronts.  
There are 40 total cards with there being 10 each of the Seahawks, Broncos, Giants, and Jets.  It is annoying that they wasted space on the two New York teams whose stadium hosted the big game.  That is 20 cards that could have gone just about any direction except for that and been a better inclusion.  So while I'm ok with this set I do think there was plenty of room for improvement.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage High Number Cards

So I'm at Wal-Mart with the wife, kind of in a hurry, knowing I'm going to treat myself to a blaster and I grab a box of 2017 Topps Heritage High Number cards...  Yeah...I don't like the Heritage brand cards...I had Topps Archives in my head for some unknown reason when I grabbed these.  Though very disappointed I kept the box.  My thoughts on the cards haven't changed from my initial review.  The Aaron Judge Rookie Performers card was the highlight for me in this box.  I'm sure some of these cards will be better in future years but there a many players I haven't heard of yet and a design I'm not a fan of. Wish I could be more excited about these cards and maybe someday I will be.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

2017 Donruss Football Hanger Box

Great pull here.  I'm not sold McCaffery will be a star in the league but he comes in with a ton of hype so who knows.  I'll probably look at trading this card at some point.
I've seen the breaks of these boxes at Blowoutbuzz.com and they looked like they would be worth trying out.  I like the cards already and reviewed them here.   
There are 50 cards in each box.  The value doesn't match regular packs per se but there is much more variety here.  
There were so many inserts this had a much different feel than a 30 card pack.  It seems like I pulled at least one of each type of insert and there were plenty.
I also felt the star power grabbing Tom Terrific, Gronk, Rogers, and others.  I definitely didn't feel shorted.  There were also three Falcons inserts which was a huge plus for me and my personal collection. 
I'm a huge fan of retired greats in these sets and believe me I was excited about what I pulled here:  Jim Brown, Jim Zorn, Walter Payton, Ottis Anderson, Calvin Johnson, Derrick Brooks -wow.  Love all these cards.  
Can't go wrong with these guys and that is the second Brady card I've pulled this year.
I say these boxes deliver good value for what you get out of them.  All the different inserts are fun.  I think that if you like these cards and want a bit more variety than what a 30 card pack offers, then don't hesitate to pull the trigger on one.  
50 - Total Cards
6 – Retired Players
5 – Press Proof
3 – Rated Rookies (1 Press Proof)
2 – RC
1 – Gridiron King
1 – All-Time Gridiron King
1 – Legends of the Fall
1 – Rookie Phenom Patch
1 – Ground Force
1 – The Elite Series Rookie
1 – Dominator
1 –Team Heroes
1 – Production Line
1 – Throwback Card
1 – Up Tempo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

It the Movie (Minor Spoilers Possible)

Was able to catch the movie It this weekend.  It is a good movie.  I like the horror genre and I liked this movie.  I've never read the Stephen King book nor was I a big fan of the first movie adaptation but I thought it was ok.  I do like the scary clown look as a whole though I do know it can be a bit overdone at times.  It was good but I wouldn't say it was great.  I've heard it is true to the book which is always good.  It deals with many dark tones which makes it an uncomfortable movie on different levels.  And that is with the most controversial scene from the book omitted from the film.  The visuals for Pennywise the clown are great though the more you see of him throughout the film it takes some of the edge off.

The story and how it is presented are pretty straight forward.  Pennywise terrorizes a small town every 27 years killing children.  A group of children with their own issues in life are potential targets but band together to fend off the horrific jester.  There just wasn't that one thing that made me go wow. I really liked Pennywise, the actors and the story. It just isn't a movie that after first watch makes me think I'll want to see it over and over.  Sometimes movies grow on me and they has the chance to be one of those for me.  The movie It Follows was that way for me.  It also sets itself up for a part two as this movie only deals with the parts of the book covering the lives of the main characters during their childhood.  I definitely think anyone who thinks they may enjoy It, whether they are a fan of Stephen King, the book, the first movie or the genre should go see the movie.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Buffalo Bills 2017 Preview

I’m late getting this out and Buffalo has already beaten the Jets but I want to look at the 2017 Bills before the season gets too far along.  Last year was another lost year for the Bills when they went 7-9.  Tyrod Taylor started 15 games and by default was forced to resign him in a convoluted messy affair after he was released.  So he returns along with stud LeSean McCoy but there isn’t much else to get excited about.

Taylor while capable doesn’t exactly exude franchise quarterback in his play.  He’s better than many out there and I can’t fault him too much but he doesn’t move the excitement meter either direction.  LeSean McCoy returns after another excellent season and anchors the backfield though top backup Mike Gillislee left for New England in the offseason via free agency.  With Sammy Watkins traded to the Rams the receiving corps will be led by former Eagle Jordan Matthews and also includes Zay Jones, Andre Holmes and TE Charles Clay.  It sounds like the offensive line won’t be too bad so that bodes well for McCoy and Taylor.  We’ll see how that translates when it comes to scoring – in which the Bills ranked 10th in 2016. 

Lorenzo Alexander - 12 1/2 sacks (2016)
The defense has to get better.  The defensive line is pretty solid but from there I’m not sure.  Linebacker is also solid though the loss of Reggie Ragland doesn’t help.  The losses of top corner Stephen Gilmore (free agency – NE) and Ronald Darby (trade – Phi) hurt a lot.  E.J. Gaines (acquired in trade – LAR) and first round pick Tre’Davious White will likely start in the defensive backfield.  Hard to tell how they will do but it seems like the secondary will definitely take a step back.  Add to that two new safeties and the backend of the defense is a very big unknown. 

Though they have one win under their belt I’m thinking they can maybe win six games but in the back of my mind I think five games is more doable when I look at the schedule.  I think most folks would argue that with me but I see a bunch of good teams they’ll have to play and I’m not sure Buffalo has a good enough team to compete.  Hopefully there are some nice surprises as the season progresses but the Jets game did not make me think we’ll see many.  With the offseason trades they made for picks the Bills are definitely looking towards the future.  Hopefully that means a franchise quarterback can be found somewhere in that rebuilding process as they reboot the team…again.  We’ll know soon what this team really looks like as they face Carolina, Denver, Atlanta, Cincy, Tampa and Oakland in the next six games.  Hopefully they can play these teams tough and get a couple of wins.  This stretch will definitely show me if this team is made to compete or not.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pro Set Super Bowl XXV Silver Anniversary Commemorative Card Set

As I did Thursday I want to look at some football cards to start the NFL season.  Continuing the Super Bowl theme, today I am looking at the Pro Set Super Bowl XXV Silver Anniversary Commemorative Card Set.  I love this set.  The photos show their age but I dig it. These commemorate the Super Bowls by primarily showcasing "Supermen" from the games.  Some aren't household names but that makes it that much better.  These sets are very cheap and easy to come by on eBay which is where I picked mine up last week.
Cards 1-24 have tickets from the those Super Bowls while 136 through 151 showcase Super Moments...to include Jackie Smith dropping a touchdown catch for the Cowboys.  Ouch!
There are 160 cards overall looking back at tickets, moments, coaches and players from the first 24 Super Bowls. 
All the player positions are represented to include each offensive and defensive position, kickers, punters and kick returners. 
The backs have a different photo and a nice write-up.  I like the write-ups as they are pertinent to specific performances in the Super Bowl for each player.  There is some fluff but it is better than many write-ups I have seen lately.
The last nine cards in the set make a puzzle showing team gear, pictures and items from Super Bowls.  It is a good way to wrap them all up on one page. 
PERSONAL NOTE:  Timmy Smith (first photo) was from my hometown of Hobbs, NM.  He broke the Super Bowl rushing record against the Denver Broncos and never played another game in the NFL.  Go figure. 
  Information on these sets aren't the easiest to find so I'd like to thank these two sites who had posts that were helpful:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

1990 Pro Set Super Bowl MVP's Insert Set

First day of football so let's look at some football cards - the 1990 Pro Set Super Bowl MVP insert set.  This set contains 24 art cards of the Super Bowls I -XXIV MVP's.
Overall I enjoy art cards and this is one I've always liked but just hadn't taken the time to pick it up.  I finally grabbed it on eBay. 
Not only did I get the 24 card set but the seller also threw in 24 duplicate cards from the set.
I love how the art really captures the players.  They are real deal paintings that look like the players.
There are tons of superstars here as would be expected.
I really enjoy Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup and all-star game centric cards so this is right up my alley.
For me there are a few all-time favorites/personal collection guys for me in Roger Staubach and Doug Williams.  Terry Bradshaw is also a guy I'm really high on.
 The fronts are nice and simple with no side borders and the art taking up almost all the card. 
The backs have a photo from the Super Bowl game with a nice write-up.  Simple but attractive.  I love these cards.  Everyone enjoy the start of the season!