Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
The unhinged Left compared President George W. Bush to Hitler after the dawn of the Iraq War. Hollywood trotted out similar talking points months before Donald J. Trump could utter the presidential oath. Far-left comic Sarah Silverman unofficially played the “Hitler Card” first. Silverman, who ignores the anti-semitism swirling around Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign, dressed as Der Fuhrer during a March 2016 appearance on Conan.
Two things are certifiably true about producer Jason Blum. He’s as left of center as his Hollywood peers, witness his previous comments about President Donald Trump. Blum’s films reflect that progressive spirit. Think Get Out and the Purge franchise as prime examples. But he’s not a fan of the woke mob, nor does he want to silence his ideological foes. He’s ready to talk to conservatives and listen.
In her effort to boost our spirits in the face of the current crisis, "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot worked better than she could have realized. Only the impact wasn’t what she had in mind. At all. The actress organized a group of famous friends, including Norah Jones, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams, to sing John Lennon’s classic single, “Imagine.” The response was vociferous.
Feminists have spent the last week mourning Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s failed presidential bid. The Massachusetts Senator had a plan for everything, they cried. Only sexism could explain her shocking fall from front runner to also ran status. She wasn’t “likable” enough, sexist reporters alleged. What else could explain her failure?
Antonio Sabato, Jr. took the biggest risk of his career four years ago. He didn’t gain 50 lbs. for a role or hide his handsome visage under layers of makeup. He threw his support behind real estate mogul Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Sabato even praised Trump from the Republican National Convention stage.
A Hollywood journalist shared a curious Tweet following Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict this week.Veteran reporter Kim Masters flooded her oscial media account with messages tied to the mogul’s downfall, including a tweet. The message quickly inspired blowback, including those who wondered why Masters stayed quiet when she knew enough about Weinstein’s behavior behind the scenes.
Orson Bean’s remarkable life is one for the ages … and soon the small screen, too. Newsweek reports a limited series based on Bean’s career in and out of show business is in the works. The show’s creative team is looking for a home for the project, but that’s not the only news tied to the late film and TV star.
Quick question: name the outlet that wrote the following about Sunday’s Oscars telecast: "What I did mind was a sinking feeling that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for all its inclusiveness, had wound up excluding more viewers than ever. Couldn’t they have promoted that dual appearance by Steve Martin and Chris Rock? Bang that drum just a little, and another 3 million viewers might have watched. Shouldn’t they have done just a little bit more of what Renée Zellweger attempted when she said something nice about those in the Armed Forces, or Bong when he devotedly quoted Martin Scorsese?"
The liberal Guardian covered VaughnGate, arguably the most important news story of the last 48 hours. Actor Vince Vaughn was caught, on camera, meeting President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. That wasn’t all. Vaughn appeared friendly with the Trumps, going so far as to exchange pleasantries during the meeting.
The media’s report card on Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes gig proved as brutal as expected. Variety called Gervais’ performance “tame.” The L.A. Times was even colder with its takedown. The USA Today reviewer described Gervais’ performance as “dull": "There were a few chuckles to be had, but even fans of Gervais’ harsh brand of humor would likely be disappointed."
Critics call New Year’s Eve “amateur night,” and with good reason. The holiday coaxes even casual drinkers to greet Baby New Year with a slurry, “huzzah!” The dawn of a new year also inspires amateur psychics to look ahead to the next 12 months. And HIT is no different.In that spirit, let’s predict what we’ll see in the entertainment world in 2020 – and how the presidential campaign will impact Hollywood, Inc.
The end of 2019 brings some grim news for Hollywood bean counters. The year’s box office tally came in roughly 4 percent lower than 2018. That’s the “sharpest decline in 5 years,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. With Dec. 31 fast approaching, industry leader Comscore projected Sunday that box office revenue in North America will hit $11.45 billion for the full year, a decline of 3.6 percent from 2018’s record bounty of $11.88 billion.
Comedy is hard by default. It’s so much harder in our woke age.Jerry Seinfeld, arguably comedy’s cleanest stand-up, swore off the college circuit because students couldn’t take a joke. Evan Shapiro politely disagrees. The man who oversaw the disastrous Seeso comedy channel is spearheading National Lampoon 2.0.
In one small but crucial way Stephen Colbert is mightier than even the Force. The far-left comic’s Late Show thrives by pandering to one half of the country. Joke after joke mocks Red State USA while cheering on progressive values.The result? He sits atop the late night heap thanks to our splintered media landscape.
Charlize Theron has played it all, from post-apocalyptic warriors to Fast & Furious foes. Like most actors, Theron finds the humanity in her characters, no matter their sins. That proved daunting when she portrayed Aileen Wuornos, the woman who killed at least six men before dying via lethal injection in 2002. Theron won an Oscar for that performance, a role requiring her to dramatically alter her beautiful visage. It’s a safe bet she doesn’t regret bringing Wuornos’ story to life.
Audiences paying to see Last Christmas got more than a yuletide romance. The film, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, toes a politically correct line. That includes broadsides against Brexit and clunky pleas for tolerance. Tolerance for the pro-Brexit movement, apparently, proved in short supply. Audiences were similarly scarce.
Timing is everything for living legend Clint Eastwood The actor/director served up American Sniper after Hollywood stopped firing cinematic shots at the U.S. Military. The results? Sniper earned $350 million at the U.S. box office. Two years later Eastwood directed Sully, just when movie goers craved a true American hero story. That movie hauled in $125 million domestically.
Robert Redford is a world class actor, a movie star of the first order and an indie film inspiration. Redford’s Sundance Film Festival helped fuel the rise of auteurs like Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Redford, like Greta Thunberg, is not a climate scientist, though.
Reporters have spent days detailing why Terminator: Dark Fate became the year’s most embarrassing flop. The movie made just $29 million stateside, and its foreign box office totals are equally weak ($94 million and counting). That’s no way for a franchise reboot to perform. Most observers are writing the saga’s obituary.
Steve Coogan is unabashedly pro-European and anti-Brexit. The comic actor from Stan & Ollie, Philomena and The Trip franchise often lets his films do the talking for him. He attacked conservative talk radio most recently with Hot Air, and his new film, Greed similarly swipes modern-day capitalism.