That's a wrap! 2019 Cinetopia Film Festival movie reviews

The past two weekends, I was able to attend the Cinetopia Film Festival, in both Ann Arbor and Royal Oak. This was my 6th year attending the festival, and it continues to be one of my favorite movie events to attend.

Originally I planned on attending 23 movies, but that number got cut down to 21 because of illness (I've been sick with a cough/cold for the past 9 days or so). Still more than I saw in previous years, because I tended to always be out of town the second weekend of the festival.

I'm breaking this up into three sections: favorites, least favorites, and overall ratings.

Favorites of the fest:
The Farewell. I saw this my second day of the fest, and Awkwafina was great in it. It should be out in theaters mid-July sometime. Wild Rose. This should be out mid-June. Fun story about a Glasgow country singer who wants to move to Nashville and be a famous singer.Killing God (Matar a Dios). Weird screwball comedy with a crazy ending. 93Queen. This was maybe my favorite movie of…

DETROIT GIVEAWAY: 20 admit-2 passes for Late Night, 6/5 at Emagine Royal Oak

Late Night will be screening on Wednesday, June 5th, at 7pm at Emagine Royal Oakand 20 of my lucky readers will EACH receive an admit-two screening pass for the film!

Movie synopsis:
A late-night talk show host's world is turned upside down when she hires her first and only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision brings about unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women who are separated by culture and generation become united by their love of a biting punchline.

Please remember that screenings are first-come, first-serve. I would recommend getting to the theater by 5-6pm that day to get in line, if possible.


Enter to win one admit-two screening pass below. There will be 2 winners!

Giveaway will end on Saturday, June 1st, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified the next day via email.

Must live in the Detroit/Metro Detroit area to enter this giveaway.

Good luck!

The Friday Five, 5/17/19: 5 things I've been up to this week

My life has literally been being sick (yes, AGAIN) and also going to the Cinetopia Film Festival for the past seven days ... I don't have much else to report.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing movies, obviously. The Cinetopia Film Festival runs through Sunday, and last weekend I went to Ann Arbor for the opening festivities. This weekend it's in both A2 and Royal Oak, and I live about ten minutes from Emagine RO so that's been great. I believe I've seen 13 movies so far, and my plan is to see around 22 total. Favorites so far have been The Farewell, which will be out in July; Killing God; After So Many Days; and 93QueenSpending the weekend in Ann Arbor. Last week I stayed in Ann Arbor from Friday through Sunday for the festival, eating some good food at some of my favorite places (Blimpy Burger, etc.) and drinking good cocktails (Babs', The Last Word). I also was able to stay the weekend at The Kensington Hotel, and you can read about that hereGetting si…

The Kensington Hotel: A boutique choice for Ann Arbor travelers

*Disclosure: I was treated to a 2-night stay at the Kensington Hotel in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past weekend, I was in Ann Arbor for the Cinetopia Film Festival, which continues this week in both Ann Arbor and Royal Oak, and was fortunate to stay at The Kensington Hotel. The Kensington is located near I-94 and is right near Briarwood Mall, which meant it was a quick 10-minute drive to UM's campus.

The hotel has been recently renovated, I believe in 2016, and you can tell: its lobby is bright and modern, and my pictures don't do it justice as to how pretty it is.

I arrived in Ann Arbor on a Friday afternoon, after an exhausting 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Clawson—normally it only takes about 50-60 minutes to get to Ann Arbor, but between 4pm rush hour traffic and a few accidents along the way, it took FOREVER. Upon check-in, I was offered water and/or a glass of champagne, which was a thoughtful gesture, and which from …

The Friday Five, 5/10/19: 5 things I've been up to this week

This week has been crazy busy and is my "hobo week," as I call it, because I was in Rosemont, IL (suburban Chicago area) from Tuesday through Thursday for work; I came home yesterday, and then unpacked and repacked, because today I go to Ann Arbor for the Cinetopia Film Festival, where I'll be seeing movies until Sunday night.

What I've been up to this week:

Seeing movies. I knew I might get a little bored at night in Rosemont, since it's not downtown Chicago, so I saved one of my AMC A-List movies for it. On Friday, my boyfriend and I saw Long Shot, which was actually super funny; I'd give it 4/5 stars. On Sunday, a friend and I saw The Intruder, which was as cheesy as I thought it would be (2.5/5 from me), and on Tuesday, in Rosemont, I saw Bolden, which was interesting but kind of all over the place—2.5/5 from me on that, too. I did a count and I'll be seeing about 23 movies during Cinetopia, but that's over the next week and a half. Cooking and eati… provides customized wall decor and more

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I recently became aware of, and was pleased to work with them. With Mother's Day coming up, this is a great site for all sorts of gifts—although they're mostly known for their canvas prints, they also have blankets, pillows, and even photo towels from which to choose.

I tried to choose prints that my parents would want to have up on their wall. Since I grew up in the '80s and '90s, most of our old photos are unfortunately not digital, so I knew there would be a slight chance that when it translated to canvas, they would be a little blurry ... they were, but I actually kind of like it (it's a little artsy-looking). was actually running a sale on the day I purchased my prints, so I was able to choose two pictures. This first picture above is my mom and I when I was younger, I think we were in the Cayman Islands on vacation.

The next picture i…

The Friday Five, 5/3/19: 5 things I've been up to this week

This week has been busy-ish but I don't have much planned for the weekend, which is probably a good thing because the rest of May is crazy; Cinetopia Film Festival starts next weekend and I'll be staying in Ann Arbor for it, then seeing Royal Oak movies for it the weekend after that.

What I've been up to this week:
Seeing movies. My boyfriend and I saw Avengers: Endgame last Friday night, and I thought it was great but not EPIC - I'd give it 4.25/5 stars (minus 1/4 star because I checked my watch a LOT during it, as it's a 3-hour movie). We saw it in 3D but IMO it wasn't really necessary ... I just have AMC A-List and like to see things in 3D whenever possible. On Sunday, I shlepped to Southfield to see Hotel Mumbai, because I had heard good things and only a few theaters around here still have it; it was fantastic and I'd give it 5/5 stars. On Thursday night, I actually attended a screening (gasp - it's been a while) of Detective Pokemon, because it was …

The Friday Five, 4/26/19: 5 things I've been up to this week

This week has seemed really long, for some reason, so I'm glad it's Friday. Aka Avengers day, for me!

What I've been up to this week:

Hanging out with friends. Last Thursday, an Ann Arbor friend came in to visit, and she and myself and four other friends went to go see Wannabe, a Spice Girls tribute group, at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, which was a fun show. We also ate dinner at Bobcat Bonnie's beforehand. On Friday, some friends and I attended a raclette party, which is basically like fancier cheese fondue, and that was delicious. Attending an influencer event. On Wednesday, a friend and I checked out Rusty Bucket (the Bingham Farms, MI location) and it has to be one of the most sumptuous influencer events I've been to ... they just kept feeding us. Eventually I had to stop eating! I'm giving away a $25 Rusty Bucket gift card on Instagram, so make sure to check that out here. Rusty Bucket gave us an early sneak peek at their spring menu, which debuts on April 29…

The Friday Five, 4/19/19: 5 things I've been up to this week

It's been a relatively quiet week, but this weekend I have a ton of plans, so it will be busy. I don't really celebrate Easter but my family and I are going to see the new Penguins movie and also grab lunch somewhere together.

What I've been up to this week:
Eating lots of good foods. Last Friday, my boyfriend and I went to Wing Snob in Southfield to try out their wings—they had invited me via Instagram and given me a gift card. The wings were very juicy and tender, and I now have a $25 gift card giveaway up on Instagram—check that out here, it ends Sunday night. On Saturday night, I went out to Olga's Kitchen with my parents, before a show downtown, and on Thursday night, some friends and I went out to eat in downtown Ferndale before a show.Hanging out with friends. On Sunday, a friend hosted a tea party (see picture above). This was the second time she had hosted it, and the food and drinks are always very good. I always feel so fancy drinking out of proper teacups too…

UPCOMING: Anastasia, June 11-23, Fisher Theatre, Detroit

*Disclosure: I have an ongoing media relationship with Broadway in Detroit. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Anastasia will be making its Detroit debut on June 11th, at the Fisher Theatre. I've never seen the show, so I'm excited to see it.

About the show:
Broadway In Detroit has announced that individual tickets for the tour of the critically-acclaimed Broadway production of ANASTASIA are now on sale! ANASTASIA will make its Detroit debut at the Fisher Theatre, June 11 – 23, 2019. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased online at or, and by phone at 800-982-2787.

From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime and inspired by the beloved films, ANASTASIA is the new Broadway musical that’s “one of the most gorgeous shows in years!” (New York Observer). This dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets o…

Upcoming and GIVEAWAY: Cinetopia Film Festival, May 10-19, Detroit & Ann Arbor

My favorite time of year will soon be afoot: the Cinetopia Film Festival is back! I've been attending the festival since 2014, and there are always a slew of films shown that are great. This year, they've expanded their theater lineup, too, so I'm pleased that Emagine Royal Oak will be a part of the festival, as I live about ten minutes away from that theater.

Other venues include the Michigan Theater and the State Theater (Ann Arbor), Arab American National Museum (Dearborn), The Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills), The Wright Museum, Cinema Detroit, and Senate Theater (Detroit), and Angell Hall (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor).

You can check out the 2019 lineup here. Some of the films I am most looking forward to seeing include:
Before You Know It (opening night film)StyxWell GroomedThe FarewellWild RoseKilling GodMidnight in ParisTo Dust93QueenWelcome to Commie HighGazaComplicityBite MeAmateursThem That FollowMidnight TravelerThe Third WifeThe Witch Hunters....and more …

Movie review and giveaway: The Kid Who Would Be King, on Blu-ray combo pack {ends 4/25}

*Disclosure: I received a Blu-ray copy of this film in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I missed out on The Kid Who Would Be King in theaters, so I was happy to receive a Blu-ray copy of the film to review.

Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) and his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) are geeks, and often get picked on at school by bullies. When they find a sword at a random construction site, Alex is convinced that it's Excalibur, and it soon becomes clear that it indeed is, and that they've unwittingly embarked upon a quest. Alex and Bedders need to befriend their bullies in order to get help with the quest, and they find out some interesting things about them along the way.

This was a fun adventure movie, and it excels within its last half hour, when Alex, Bedders, and the entire school team up to defeat Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson, The Greatest Showman), who wants to defeat them and rule the world. You'll likely not recognize most of the c…

Upcoming and GIVEAWAY: David Sedaris, October 23, Fisher Theatre, Detroit {ends 4/24}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

David Sedaris will be doing a reading at the Fisher Theatre on Wednesday, October 23rd, and I'm super excited about it! I have seen him twice, both times in Ann Arbor, and I also got to meet him in-person once during a book signing. His books are hilarious and I've enjoyed most of the ones I've read.

More details:
WDET presents An Evening with David Sedaris, author of the previous bestsellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor will be appearing for one night only at the Fisher Theatre on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:30pm, following the release of his newest book & New York Times #1 Best Seller, Calypso.

This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist in an intimate setting. As always, Sedaris will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A sess…