Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
The press is getting worse at lying. Liberal media bias has been around for decades, but it often couched itself in subtle ways. An ignored story here, a lack of ideological labels there. Instead, we all shrugged. We know the truth. The charade is over. We all read Twitter and can see how news reporters can’t even hide their progressive bona fides on social media. That proved clear last year when media outlets reported on a mega-million dollar deal between Netflix and former President Barack Obama.
The stand-up comic Jim Gaffigan’s new film caught him by surprise, but not for anything in the movie itself. He noticed how professional film critics treated the tale of a man fronting not one but two families. Gaffigan shared his dismay at the film’s critical reaction on the latest episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Saturday Night Live rarely mocks Democrats. That’s obvious in the Age of Trump, but it also held true during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office. SNL player Jay Pharoah said the show “gave up on the Obama thing.” The few times the show mocked Obama’s policies the media took notice. Which brings us to The Babylon Bee. For the uninitiated, the Bee serves up Christian satire with a heaping helping of political humor. Yes, the site often pokes fun at President Trump.
Few pundits know the media better than Rush Limbaugh. The radio titan skewers the press’ liberal bias from his talk show perch. Limbaugh can predict media patterns with frightening accuracy. He did it again this week, mocking how reporters looked away as he gave millions to charity. Literally. At the same time most media outlets ignored some good news for No Safe Spaces, the Adam Carolla/Dennis Prager feature heading our way this fall.
The creative team behind Unplanned couldn’t have been happier with their film’s debut north of the border. That’s not the end of the story, though. Unplanned earned a robust $18.8 million at the U.S. box office, but the film initially struggled to find distributors to bring it to Canadian crowds. For context, many indie features fail to crack $1 million at the U.S. box office.
Today’s stars say the worst things possible about Republicans. The current Commander in Chief endures the nastiest rhetoric. The attacks typically involve the words “Hitler,” “Holocaust” or garden-variety “fascist.” President Donald Trump isn’t alone, though. Conservatives like Paul Ryan, Betsy DeVos and Justice Brett Kavanaugh also receive celebrity-based attacks beyond the pale of polite banter.
Plenty of Hollywood starlets talk up the #MeToo movement.To a point. Some, like Alyssa Milano, let select Democrats slide based, apparently, on the “D” in front of their names. Others speak in generalities, perhaps fearful that “naming names” could hurt their careers.
Hollywood collectively assumed Special Counsel Robert Mueller would prove President Donald Trump colluded with Russian agents to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary Clinton. Even worse, Trump did everything he could to obstruct the fight to learn the truth. Saturday Night Live made Mueller a recurring character, brought to life by arch Trump critic Robert De Niro. The Trump presidency, the show declared, was on borrowed time.
Americans didn’t need to see journalist Andy Ngo getting attacked by Antifa to know the group’s violent roots. Antifa doesn’t hide its lust for destruction. It shouts it for all to hear from beneath its black face masks. It’s part of its DNA, as much as hating free speech and denouncing anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders as a “Nazi.”
Actress Nancy Lee Grahn used some stealth editing to attack the Trump administration this week. The General Hospital star shared the following Tweet showing troubling conditions faced by young illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of the southern border. Her cry, coupled with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dubbing the centers “concentration camps,” brought the issue to the media’s attention.
When a film crashes at the box office a curious phenomenon take place. And quickly, mind you. Hollywood news sites pounce, detailing why the film in question tanked in the first place. Insiders who might have stayed quiet had the movie thrived all of a sudden have plenty to say.
Movie criticism ain’t what it used to be. Film critics once served audiences by telling them if a movie was worth their hard-earned cash. Some critics still cling to that approach.Others use their forums to promote their ideological agendas. And, since the vast majority of film critics lean left, the results are predictably woke.
Netflix boasts far more than just buzz-worthy content. The streaming giant enjoys enormous public goodwill. Offer a crush of high quality programming along with classic fare for a modest fee – which just jumped to $12.99/month – and patrons will sing your praises. Better yet, Netflix is easily consumed on smart phones, tablets, streaming devices and smart TVs. Is it any wonder people connect with the brand?
If you think the news media’s Trump Derangement Syndrome is out of control, look at what’s happening in Hollywood. We already know celebrities still haven’t processed Donald Trump’s shocking victory. The unconventional president “broke” a crush of stars, and the list is growing.
Meghan McCain cleans her fellow View hosts’ clocks on a near-daily basis. It’s not simply a Left/Right thing. McCain has a better grasp of the facts, avoids lazy talking points and eagerly fires back when her liberal co-stars critique her views. All three tactics were in short supply before McCain joined the show.
witter is having a field day with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Again. It seems the freshman Congresswoman is baffled by this new technology called the “garbage disposal.” It’s par for the course for the woman now known as AOC. Right-leaning folks routinely mock her on social media, assuming Twitter doesn’t ban them in the process.
Show after show after show hammers the Right, ignores the Left and, in the case of Seth Meyers, actively hides reality if it hurts the progressive cause. There’s no other way around it. So why won’t at least one network or streaming service open the format up to a right-leaning host? It makes sense on paper.
The new film Tolkien does more than examine the life of the mind behind Lord of the Rings. The biopic reportedly ignores the large role faith played in J. R.R. Tolkien’s literature … and life. PJ Media reports the film, starring Nicholas Hoult as the famed author, goes out of its way to minimize the subject’s Christianity.
Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist. Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his 2020 presidential campaign last week. Biden joined a crush of fellow Democrats hoping to unseat President Donald Trump next year. Naturally, The Late Show host had to talk about it. And, given the program’s leftist slant, Colbert didn’t find much fault in Biden’s video announcement.
Tina Fey isn’t in the Sarah Palin business anymore. In fact, the former Saturday Night Live star would rather avoid political comedy entirely. It’s too ugly, too divisive. Fey may have ginned up headlines by impersonating the 2008 vice presidential candidate, but she’s rather make Netflix content these days. There’s another reason she’s not getting her hands dirty in the political muck, though. She isn’t sure it does much of anything when it comes to the voting booth.