Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
Director Scott Derrickson has a funny way of ringing in a national holiday. Derrickson’s resume includes a number of respected films including The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) and Sinister (2012). That changed when he co-wrote and directed the 2016 smash Doctor Strange. The MCU entry shook up the superhero formula just enough to score big with critics and fans alike.
Does anyone in Hollywood put their foot in their mouth better than Lena Dunham? The creator of HBO’s Girls has made apologizing her side hustle. She even wrote an essay on her mea culpa addiction, hoping the meta-confession might burnish her culture warrior credentials.
Jeff Ross has a hard time keeping his immigration policies straight. Compare these two comments made within a week of each other on Comedy Central. Here’s Ross talking to Trevor Noah about immigration on The Daily Show. Noah said the U.S. cannot have open borders despite liberals favoring amnesty-style policies. Ross didn’t appear to disagree.
Watching 11/8/16 is like scanning Facebook over the past 12 months. It isn’t pretty. The documentary, available now via iTunes, select theaters and Netflix, is a revealing look at our divided nation all the same. Only it shares more than the filmmakers likely intended.
George Clooney's new film throbs with hatred for 1950s suburbia, no doubt. And maybe the 2017 version, to hear Clooney’s recent press musings. The racism on full display is underlined, highlighted and cast in bold type. Just try missing it. We dare you. Beyond that? Maybe it’s Clooney’s confession that he’s better off in front of the camera, not behind it.
Four very different films hit theaters over the past few weeks. Consider: A sequel to one of the most talked about documentaries in recent memory, an artsy horror film featuring an Oscar-winning stunner, a B-movie disaster directed by a man who knowns that genre by heart, and a belated sequel to one of the most iconic science fiction films of all time.
There’s one line politicians utter that always sets off a reporter’s Spidey senses. I’m leaving politics to spend more time with my family… That instantly sparks a media reaction. Is it true? Or does the politicians fear a scandal, a whupping on Election Day or something, gasp, even worse?
Every day we learn new, more shocking, revelations about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Here’s just two from the last 24 hours: Another woman shares an ugly story of how Weinstein sexually harassed her. An A-lister admits she knew Weinstein’s tendencies … and did nothing. (“the stories were everywhere…”)
Some stars sent their thoughts and prayers to the dead and wounded. Others said the stupidest things possible. No one does “hot takes” worse than celebrities.
Jimmy Kimmel is just your average dad … with a direct line to Sen. Chuck Schumer. The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live spent much of last week savaging the GOP’s plan to replace the deeply flawed ObamaCare legislation.
A group calling itself the Women’s Media Summit has a radical plan for fixing Hollywood’s gender imbalance. Boycott Hollywood movies that don’t meet the group’s definition of a gender-balanced production. What does that actually mean?
Media outlets cooked up the term “Fake News,” in part, to discredit Donald Trump’s improbable Election Day victory. Conservatives quickly hijacked the phrase to illustrate the liberal bias infecting today’s headlines. Filmmaker Phelim McAleer says the worst instance of Fake News in recent memory had nothing to do with Trump.
Stephen Colbert is tan, rested and rarin’ to go back to work. Which means he’s torching President Donald Trump once more in his opening monologues following his summer break. Yes, the President makes it easy with his broad statements and politically-charged decrees. It also makes The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the most predictable hour on television. Here’s his Wednesday night monologue. More. Of. The. Same.
Kathy Griffin is sorry that she’s sorry. And this time she means it. Really. Griffin is on a new media tour. Call it the Anti-Apology Offensive. The comedienne drew flack earlier this year for holding President Trump’s bloody head in the air as part of an edgy photo shoot. The moment took plenty of planning, complete with a wink-wink release of the visual to TMZ.com.
Remember when you could turn to the Associated Press for a respite from liberal media bias?
Those days are fading fast in the Age of Trump. And the decline can even be seen in the AP’s entertainment coverage. Consider the wire service’s hot take on Stephen King’s latest anti-President Trump Tweet. Yes, the august news service not only pays close attention to celebrity tweets but concocts stories based on them.
Al Gore's latest climate change film couldn't draw a crowd. Here's why. Few films receive the avalanche of positive press An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power enjoyed. Reporters uncritically shared Al Gore’s climate change mantra in virtually every media outlet. They treated his return to the big screen like a major event. Shoving skepticism aside, the articles cried it’s the movie we need now .. more … than …ever.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone won't tar Trump in the show's upcoming season. That made the media very, very angry. Cartman, Kyle and Kenny, meet Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show host once treated Donald Trump like a guest on his late night program. Because … that’s what the reality show host was.
Jane Fonda lived to regret posing with North Vietnamese forces at the height of the Vietnam War. The actress now calls sitting atop an anti-aircraft gun used to kill U.S. pilots a “huge, huge mistake.” Earlier this year she dubbed it “the largest lapse of judgment I can imagine.” Many never forgave her all the same. Enter Margaret Cho.
The 2017 Academy Awards ceremony felt more like a DNC revival than a tribute to the year’s best movies. Winner after winner, joke after monologue joke targeted new President Donald Trump. That may have been a warm-up act. Hollywood has embraced the resistance hashtag as much as any industry. And there are no signs that will stop as we steer into awards season.
What do Hollywood and Al Gore have in common? Both are obsessed with worst-case weather scenarios. Al Gore is back to scare movie goers with raging storm patterns. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power finds the former Vice President sounding the alarm (again) about climate change.