Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: This movie is really good.  The 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is excellent.  This is what you want from a fun Sci-Fi adventure movie.  My understanding is D&D fans like it. I couldn't tell you how true it is to the game but it doesn't matter.  You don't have to know D&D to enjoy this.  They set the stage for you and it is off from there.  Just very enjoyable.  I rented it on Amazon Prime and didn't see it in theaters but I'm sure it was a fun watch on the big screen.  Unfortunately, it sounds like we may not see a sequel.  It only made just over $200 million worldwide while in theaters ($150M budget) and folks don't believe that will be enough to see another movie.  That's a shame as I think this franchise could be really fun and I thought it'd have some legs with all the good press and reivews.  Don't let that keep you from watching the movie.  We'll see where it goes but I obviously recommend the movie to folks. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

Walk in my Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Walk in My Boots:  This books collects more modern stories from military folks from across the different branches.  I really enjoyed reading it.  Each story isn't too long and is fairly focused.  It made it an easy read and also draws you in to each story quickly.  Some stories are similar but they don't feel repitive.  You'll also get what folks had to deal with in their circumstances.  Those who share their stories feel very honest and it can pull at your heartstrings.  I highly recommend this to anyone who likes these types of books. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

2021-2022 Upper Deck Marvel Annual Blaster

21-22 Marvel Annual:  This is my first in hand look at these.  We'll kick it off with a popular character from the Marvel world.  I like this Captain Marvel but I am a bigger fan of the original Captain Mar-vell.
The design on these is a bit dull to me though I like the art.  On some cards like the Magneto and X-23 we see too much background.  I like the muted background but it shouldn't get so much card space.  Also feels like there could be more color somewhere.  Might not work but a thought.
Here we have a Silver Sparkle parallel, Backscatter insert which falls 1:24 packs, and that Cyclops is a Canvas parallel.  I like the looks of the first two but the Canvas doesn't do much for me.  Just a different feel to the card.
These are the Blue parallels which come one per pack.  I think I like the base cards with the background better.  I do wish there were more cards here.  Thirty in a blaster seems pretty small considering what I got with the recent Kayou cards I opened.
Humble Beginnings, Number 1 Spot and Annual Impact inserts.  All three are good in my book
The backs are okay but not overly exciting.
This is only my second experience with Marvel Annual cards.  The first was a pack from the 2017 set which I like more.  Still these are fun cards. They'll probably end up in the hands of the grandsons but that works for me.

30 – Total Cards
6 – Blue Parallel
2 – Silver Sparkle 
1 – Canvas
1 – Annual Impact
1 – Number 1 Sport
1 – Humble Beginnings
1 – Backscatters (1:24 packs)

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2022-2023 Donruss Basketball

 22-23 Donruss Basketball: Game six tonight and Boston will need all the help they can get if they expect to continue to dig out of their 3-0 hole to Miami they had put themselves in.  Jaylen Brown hasn't had a good series and Boston would be really happy if he found his stroke tonight.  I'll be rooting for the Heat.  Just saying.

This year's design has a bit of Hoops feel to it and I like this look.  Of course anything is better than last year's design.  Bam and the Miami Heat need to win their home game tonight and not give Boston any hope.
Some youngsters.  Holmgren still hasn't seen the court due to injury while Shaedon Sharpe had modest success as a rookie for the Trail Blazers.
No issues with these inserts.  If only Paul George and Kawhi Leonard could stay healthy.
Can't wait to see Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in the NBA Finals.  I'll admit I didn't think Jalen Brunson wasn't worth the contract he received from the Knicks but he did really well in his first year of the deal.
Fun having so much basketball on the shelves right now and these new Donruss add to it.  This pack was fun with the exitement of new cards and good pull.  Go Miami!

30 – Total Cards
3 – Rated Rookie
1 – Complete Players
1 – Franchise Futures
1 - Green Laser Holo Parallel

Friday, May 26, 2023

Random Wax: 2021 Topps Baseball

2021 Topps:  Freddie may no longer be on the Braves but he's still raking like he was.  Hard not to like this dude and wish Atlanta had kept him.  He recently went 5 for 14 against the Braves in the Dodgers last series against his former team.
This is a design I like and been pretty happy with even over time.  This was a pack I picked up at a Dollar General in 2021.  No issues with any of these stars of the game.
Only six youngsters in this pack overall.
Team card.  Plenty of different photographic opportunities with these cards.
I really like all these throwbacks.  '52 Redux, 1986 Topps 35th Anniversary and 70 Years of Topps Baseball.
Stars in Service seems a bit out of place with the look but still a good card.  This Jeter is #/10 which is a nice pull.  I really enjoy the World Series cards.
Nice card and nod to the pandemic.  Fun cards, a nice pull and a great look back.  I enjoyed this pack.

40 – Total Cards
4 - RC
2 – Team Cards
2 – League Leaders
1 – Checklist
1 – Future Stars
1 – World Series
1 – 1952 Topps Redux
1 – Topps All-Rookie Cup
1 – 70 Years of Topps Baseball
1 – Stars in Service Red Parallel #/10
1 - 1986 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary

Friday, May 19, 2023

2022 Topps Heritage High Numbers Blaster

2022 Topps Heritage Hight Numbers: I haven't dabbled in Heritage High Numbers in five years but picked this one up on a whim. It paid off big with this Julio Rodriguez Purple Chrome Refractor.  Definitely a moment there where I thought about holding onto it but ultimately it made since to sell now and it did within hours of going on sale.
1973 is one of the better retro designs in my book which helps here.  High series shows off veterans in their new unis as well as rookies.
Another Rodriguez pull.  No complaints here.  I'll hold on to that one and the Pena is a nice pull as well.
This Yepez is a Silver Border parallel #/373.
The Chrome Purple Refractors come one per pack. 
The '73 All-Star Game Highlight is nice as is the Rookie Performer though I'd like to see something other than the RC in that bottom right corner.
These are kind of cool.

Some horizontal fun while we finish it off with a local favorite and future hall of famer.
72 – Total Cards
25 – RC
8 – Chrome Purple Hot Box Refractors
1 – Retired Great
1 – Career Highlights
1 – Rookie Performers
1 – All-Star Rookie Cup
1 – Silver Bordered #/373
1 - 1973 MLB All-Star Game Highlights


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Random Wax: 2020-2021 Illusions Basketball

20-21 Illusions: Conference Finals start tonight so it has to be basketball today.  This guy will play a big part in whether or not the Boston Celtics can get past the Miami Heat who are gritty and hot right now.  Their series starts tomorrow night
Kawhi, Paul George and the Clippers suffered another "what if?" season as the duo dealt with injuries throughout the year and playoffs.  Next year?  Who knows...
I like these cards showcasing players who have gone from one team to another.
Marcus Smart is one of the key players for Boston just as Kyle Lowry is for the Heat.  Lowry has to help make up for some of the points and playmaking lost due to injuries.  So far he has had some nice moments in the playoffs and will need to keep that up if Miami is to have a chance against the Celtics.

12 – Total Cards
2 – RC
1 – Living Legend
1 – Career Lineage


NBA Conference Finals


Conference Finals are here and I'm excited.  Been some fun basketball so far in the playoffs.  Not the matchups we would have put money on but these are fun no matter how we got them.  Personally, I want to see a Denver-Miami Finals.  A Lakers-Heat Finals rematch or even a Lakers-Celtics Finals would be fun too.  But for me I want Jokic and the Nuggets to get there and see Jimmy Butler get another shot at a title.
Wow this one should be fun.  I already gush about Jokic and anyone who watches him play should as well.  This should be a great matchup against Anthony Davis.  Jokic and the Nuggets may have had some second half regular season issues but both have put all that behind them in the playoffs.  This dude is amazing.  I think the Nuggets take this in six games.  Can LA win?  Of course.  I don't discount LeBron and AD but the Nuggets as a whole are a better team.
I love Jimmy Butler and he has carried the Heat in the playoffs especially after Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo went down. Who didn't think the Heat were done for at that point?  Boston is a great team and led by two superstars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown.  Maybe they haven't been on every game but they are by far much better than the Heat.  Boston should win this one in five.  Knowing Jimmy Buckets this could go seven for sure and it should be a hard fought series no matter how it ends up.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Random Wax: 2021 Score Football

2021 Score Football:  Saquon Barkley's situation in New York still hasn't played out to completion but you have to think the Giants want him back.  After giving Daniel Jones a big contract you don't want to take away his running game.  Of course that comes at a cost and we'll see what that ends up being. 
This isn't a bad design.  Not great and a bit too much white but not one I dislike.  
I'm really hoping the Falcons can throw the ball this year and Kyle Pitts can be a bigger part of the offense.  Can New England figure it out with Mac Jones after putting a real offensive coordinator in place?  Inquiring minds want to know...
The backgrounds are a bit bland but I like the concept. 
Love retired greats!  Mark Gastineau was so much fun back in the day.  And LT did have a great game face though I'm not sure what they have pictured gives is the best representation of it.
I like the dual look of a player in both his college and pro unis as well as showcasing champions.
Next Level are good inserts while Score Team are better in my book.

That Zach Wilson is a Throwback Rookie.  Wow how these two are somewhat tied together with Aaron Rogers moving to the Jets.  Fun pack of cards.  Nice mix of vets, rookies and legends.

40 – Total Cards
6 – RC
4 – Retired Greats
3 – Next Level
3 – Score Team
3 – Red Parallel
3 – Collegiate Champions
2 – 3D
1 – Game Face
1 – Throwback Rookie