Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
A funny thing happened when Oscar winner Sean Penn took aim at the #MeToo movement. Nothing. In today’s hyper sensitive age, “nothing” is funny, at least not in the “ha ha” sense. Penn spoke out recently against a movement which took down Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and other high profile men in the entertainment business.
Give credit where credit is due. Filmmaker James Stern genuinely wanted to learn why so many Americans thought Donald Trump was the answer to their political dreams. So he went on a journey in the months leading up to Election Day 2016 getting to know people Hillary Clinton deemed “Deplorables.”
Michael Moore has spent nearly three decades burnishing his Everyman persona. And, little by little, that image has started to fray. The biggest blow came when elements of his divorce proceedings became public. Divorce is often contentious. Few people outside the public eye would like their divorce details to hit the news.
The new comedy The Oath couldn’t come at a better time. The Oct. 12 release follows a very liberal couple (Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish) as they welcome conservative family members to their home for Thanksgiving dinner. Do sparks fly? Try punches (and maybe more, according to the film’s rowdy trailer).
Whoopi Goldberg led a celebrity wave of tributes to Sen. John McCain this weekend. Actors, who spend most of their online efforts slamming conservatives, took a pause to mourn McCain’s passing at the age of 81. Goldberg’s tribute was clear, concise and heartfelt.
The pastor in First Reformed may work in a church, but his true god isn’t the Lord above. It’s Al Gore. Writer/director Paul Schrader’s film, available now on Blu-ray and other home video outlets, shares the story of a broken man’s quest for redemption. What emerges is the usual array of global warming talking points, the kind Hollywood can’t help inserting into its product ad nauseam.
Entertainment writers need a 12-step program to cure their addiction to late night TV. In the Age of Trump outlets like Deadline.com, TheWrap.com and even the Associated Press feverishly churn out stories based on what late night comics say. Just jokes? Not to these smitten journalists. More specifically, it’s every slam uttered against President Trump and the GOP. Although said outlets are so addicted to late night fare now they regurgitate apolitical bits.
Jimmie Walker doesn't shy away from President Donald Trump in his stand-up act. Only Walker's Trump gags are meant to make people laugh, not inflame half the crowd. The Good Times alum, 71, says that makes him different than most comics in the Age of Trump.
They tried. They really, really tried. Hollywood studios large and small have spent years, even decades, warning us about the dangers associated with climate change. More recently, anyone who supports a robust defense of our borders has been savaged by Hollywood stars and storylines alike.
The list of those skeptical of Hollywood’s woke bona fides keeps growing. When the New York Times reported on serial sexual assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein in October it rocked Hollywood. A bevy of big names soon followed, from director Brett Ratner to Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.
Jimmy Fallon had a distinct advantage entering the Age of Trump. The former Saturday Night Live star hadn’t cut his teeth with sharp political satire like his peers. We knew him for his wicked Boston accent, a killer Mick Jagger impression and his Everydude charm. It’s partly why NBC chose him to succeed Jay Leno as host of the iconic Tonight Show in 2014.
Children are now firmly in play for Hollywood’s “resistance.” Seth Rogen, the pot-friendly star of hits like Sausage Party and the Neighbors franchise, faced a conundrum recently after posing for pictures with a pair of teen fans. The actor happily took those snaps, but he recoiled when the children’s father joined the fray.
Hollywood loves to mock the Commander in Chief, some leaders more than others. The industry takes a different approach to the First Lady. It’s either hands off completely, an occasional joke lobbed in her direction or a more collaborative connection. Remember when Michelle Obama dropped by Sesame Street to talk nutrition?What about when First Lady Barbara Bush chatted up Big Bird to spread the joy of reading?
When it comes to partisan politics, Hollywood can’t help but lie through its teeth. Need proof? Here’s some examples. Jimmy Kimmel recently teased his ABC “upfront” roast, aimed at announcing new broadcast content, in an unexpected fashion. He promised he wouldn’t roast President Donald Trump like he does on a nightly basis via Jimmy Kimmel Live.
What comes to mind when you recall classic comedies like Animal House, Caddyshack and Vacation? Bawdy? Outrageous? Subversive? Certainly hilarious. Those films, either created by or delivered with the National Lampoon imprimatur, changed the face of comedy. And they did so without bowing to any special interest demands.
Samantha Bee called First Daughter Ivanka Trump a word that can’t be spelled out here. What’s easier to say? The refrain conservatives have been uttering since Nov. 9, 2016. “That’s how you get Trump.”
The boycott brigade is back and ready for action. Numerous Twitter users vowed to cancel their Neflix subscriptions this week. Why? The streaming giant cinched a deal with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.
Celebrities have spent the past 16 months tarring President Donald Trump with every imaginable crime. Two female comics took their Trump hate to a new level this week. The historic opening of the first U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, fulfilling a promise made by President Trump, caused celebrities to reflexively smite Trump’s foreign policy.
Alyssa Milano keeps forgetting her own script. The actress turned NRA opponent is one of the highest profile celebrities taking on the civil rights group. Milano, 45, isn’t in the public eye nearly as much as she was during her days co-starring with Tony Danza on Who’s the Boss? or the long-running Charmed.
The reviews are in, and they’re ugly. Comedienne Michelle Wolf’s performance at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner drew scorn from both sides of the aisle. Conservatives were understandably aghast at Wolf’s vicious brand of humor.