Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
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.
Post-apocalyptic movies have plenty in common. The survivors feast on dwindling food supplies. Basic necessities like clean water, medicine and electricity are suddenly in short supply. And the force that caused the disaster, be it man-made or technologically driven, isn’t the only thing to fear.
Matt Damon stepped on a #MeToo rake last year. The Suburbicon star attempted to explore sexual assault allegations following Harvey Weinstein’s downfall. Big mistake. At the time, Sen. Al Franken had become the latest casualty of the #MeToo movement. Several women accused the Liberal Democrat of inappropriate touching. That’s when Damon stepped up to the microphone.
Two key players at Comedy Central are taking a public victory lap. Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen oversee the network’s series development slate. They chatted with Vulture.com on a number of topics this week. And, most surprisingly, just how gosh darn diverse the channel is in 2019. The latter seemed curious. Vulture.com pressed onward, oblivious to an ideological elephant tap dancing in the corner.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the greatest gift to political satirists since a certain Apprentice star hit the scene. If comedians ever tire of Trump jokes involving orange skin, huuuuge promises or small hands, she’s the next comedy revolution. Only the vast majority of comics won’t lay a glove on her. Which brings us to Stephen Colbert.
Late night comedians have put out the “Welcome” mat for Democrats running against President Donald Trump next year. We’ve already seen Sen. Kamala Harris fawned over by both Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah on The Late Show and The Daily Show, respectively. Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillebrand surfed Colbert’s couch, too, as did Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sen. Bernie Sanders appears regularly on Colbert’s show.
Annapurna Pictures desperately needed a hit going into the 2018 Oscar campaign. Instead, the struggling studio went 0 for 3 at the box office. Both Destroyer and If Beale Street Could Talk sank like stones at the box office despite solid reviews. The studio’s biggest casualty? The high-profile Vice, the hard-left propaganda piece created by Adam McKay.
Brie Larson’s promotional push for Captain Marvel couldn’t be more woke. The Oscar winner railed against too many white male reporters, trumpeted the film’s feminist agenda and dictated which under-represented writers could pen her glossy magazine profiles. Super chutzpah!
Sorry to Bother You caused quite a stir last summer. Not only did Boots Riley’s film overperform at the box office, it earned raves from film critics nationwide. The movie just snared a Best First Feature award from the Independent Spirit Awards. Could the film’s strong anti-capitalist bent have anything to do with it? The Guardian asked, “Sorry to Bother You: is this the most shocking anti-capitalist film ever?”
It’s all but official. Empire co-star Jussie Smollett lied about getting attacked by two Trump supporters on a sub-zero Chicago street. Smollett says two men attacked him, doused him with bleach, threw a noose-like rope around his neck and yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. Oh, and one cried something about being in “MAGA country,” meaning President Donald Trump’s supporters were to blame.
Modern Hollywood has never been so vocal. Talk shows. Social media. Awards stages. Marches. Rallies. Protests. Name the venue, and a star or starlet is there, promoting a crush of causes. It’s inescapable, from climate change to “Hitler 2.0” AKA President Donald Trump.
It’s rare for people to agree on, well, anything these days. Politics. TV. Movies. Religion. Is pineapple pizza delicious or a crime against humanity? We love to disagree. We thrive on it. Yet we all came together over the weekend. Audiences were in virtual lockstep over Maroon 5’s Super Bowl Half Time performance.
Maroon 5 got the gig of a lifetime, but the band would rather talk about anything else. Adam Levine’s group will entertain millions midway through Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Sunday. The musicians won’t chat up the gig prior to the big game, though.