Friday, August 29, 2014

Touring The Shawshank Trail 20 years later

By James A. Molnar
TGK Editor

A small Ohio community was changed two decades ago by a film.

And it is still embracing the connection today.

"The Shawshank Redemption" was filmed in 1993 in the communities of Mansfield, Upper Sandusky and Ashland, Ohio, and the cities are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of the seven-time Oscar-nominated film this weekend with a huge three-day extravaganza.

During a recent preview tour, I was given a look at what fans can expect while visitings.

From a café in downtown Mansfield offering Shashankwiches to the prison setting itself at the Ohio State Reformatory, the organizers are committed and excited about offering visitors a tour along The Shawshank Trail.

Appearances by actors from the film are expected. Bob Gunton, who played Warden Norton, and James Kisicki, who played the bank manager, are expected to attend. Renee Blaine and Scott Mann, who played the wife and her lover, respectively, is expected. The prisoner named "Fat Ass," played by Frank Medrano, is attending a signing autographs with some of the others.

The schedule of events also include a screening of the acclaimed Frank Darabont movie at the Renaissance Theatre, where the film originally premiered on Sept. 13, 1994.

Here is a look at some of the sights from the trail:

The centerpiece of the experience is of course The Ohio State Reformatory,
which served as Shawshank State Prison in the film. The reformatory offers a tour,
winding through the Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne designs,
past offices and living areas.   Photos by James A. Molnar

A bevy of merchandise options are available for purchase in the Convictions Gift Shop.

Other movies have filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory.
Here, a set piece from "Air Force One" remains on the grounds.

Monday, August 25, 2014

66th Primetime Emmy Awards winners

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards aired live coast-to-coast on NBC Aug. 25 from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE. Seth Meyers hosted and provided for some big laughs.

The Emmys proved just how cooky those television (and movie) stars can be.

"Breaking Bad" and "Modern Family" won the big categories of the night.

"Breaking Bad" won Outstanding Drama Series, "a wonderful farewell" said creator Vince Gilligan. It is the sixth show to win the series Emmy for its final season. Bryan CranstonAnna Gunn and Aaron Paul all won the Emmy in their respective categories for the show. This was Cranston's fourth Emmy for his lead role as Walter White in the hit AMC show. Paul took home his third Emmy for his supporting role and Gunn took home her second consecutive for her supporting role.

"Modern Family" won Outstanding Comedy Series for the fifth consecutive year. The other big win for the ABC show came with Ty Burrell winning the Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Netflix left the ceremony empty-handed Monday night — but it grabbed seven at the Creative Arts Emmys.

One of most memorable moments of the night came during the In Memoriam segment. Sara Bareilles sang "Smile" by Nat King Cole during the montage.

After the montage, Billy Crystal shared a touching tribute to his longtime friend, Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11.

“As genius as he was on stage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine — supportive, protective, loving,” Crystal said. “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives. For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.”

"But while some of the brightest of our celestial bodies are actually extinct now, their energy long since cooled, but miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us now, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever," he said. "And the glow will be so bright, it'll warm your heart, it'll make your eyes glisten, and it'll make you think to yourselves: 'Robin Williams, what a concept.'"

Watch the tribute here:

Here are all of the winning categories:

All you need to know: 66th Primetime Emmy Awards

It may be Monday in August, but it's time for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Here's everything you need to know for the big show tonight on NBC:

The Ballot

The Gold Knight team has compiled the top nominees. Find all of them here in our handy Emmys Ballot. Feel free to download the ballot, print it out and pass out at your workplace or during your party (go here to download the PDF). It's in glorious color.

The Nominees

The television academy announced its nominations on July 10 — for all 103 categories! "Game of Thrones" was the most nominated with 19 nominations. Miniseries "Fargo" and "American Horror Story: Coven" received 18 and 17 nominations, respectively.

Another big winner again this year was Netflix with 31 nominations, topping its 14 nominations and three wins from last year. CBS was the most nominated non-cable broadcaster with 47 nominations, down from last year's 53. HBO received 99 nominations, down from 108 last year.

Carson Daly from NBC’s "Today Show" and "The Voice" and Mindy Kaling from FOX’s "The Mindy Project" announced the nominations, along with Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum.

Find the full list of nominations here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Video: Reviewing ‘The Giver’

TGK Editor James A. Molnar — also film editor of Toledo Free Press — stops by WTOL-11's “Your Day” in Toledo every Friday morning and talks about the latest movies at the box office. On the Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, segment, he reviews "The Giver," based on the 1993 novel of same name by Lois Lowry. He also chats what else is coming to theaters.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Video: Reviewing ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Boyhood’ — one is a five-star review

TGK Editor James A. Molnar — also film editor of Toledo Free Press — stops by WTOL-11's “Your Day” in Toledo every Friday morning and talks about the latest movies at the box office. On the Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, segment, he reviews the franchise reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." With Michael Bay producing and Megan Fox starring, James is not quite sure about this one.

He also shares his five-star review of writer-director Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," which he calls one of the best movies of the year.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards winners

The final 26 categories will be
announced Aug. 25 on NBC.
Just over a week before the telecast airs on NBC, the television academy announced some of the winners on Aug. 16 at its Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which recognizes technical achievements, along with giving out some acting prizes.

The big show is Monday, Aug. 25, on NBC, but the FXM network will broadcast the Creative Arts Emmys the day before at 8 p.m. ET/PT with an encore airing at 10 p.m. Spike Jones, Jr. produced the event for his 20th year.

Here is the list of 77 winners (updating as they are announced), which are among the full list of more than 100 categories announced July 10:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Memoriam: Oscar-winner, ebullient genie and beloved comic Robin Williams

The legend is gone, but his legacy remains.

Robin Williams, 63, left us Monday morning. And we're still picking up the pieces.

But what a legacy Williams has left behind. Everyone has a favorite movie or TV memory thanks to Williams. Two of my all-time favorite movies have Williams in the leading role — "Hook" and "Mrs. Doubtfire." Both of those movies really resonated with me as a kid in the ’90s.

From "Hook":
“All you have to do is think one happy thought, and you’ll fly like me.”

From "Mrs. Doubtfire":
“But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever.”
“Well, he broke the mold when he made me. He made me very special.”

Williams' turn as Genie in "Aladdin" is one of the best — if not the best — voice-over performances of all time, which the Academy appropriately recognized in its tribute tweet Monday (seen above).

One cannot forget some of his best dramatic roles, as well. The Academy honored him with a Supporting Actor Oscar at the 70th Academy Awards for his role as Sean McGuire in 1997's "Good Will Hunting." He was nominated three times before for "Good Morning, Vietnam," "Dead Poets Society" and "The Fisher King." All were well deserved.

From "Good Will Hunting":
“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

As hard as it is to lose such a legend, we are left with so many gifts and treasures thanks to his vast, multi-genre legacy.

Thank you for making us laugh and inspiring us, Robin. May you rest in peace.
“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

Other tributes:

Read Norm MacDonald's incredible story