Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
"Rachel never judged. She was what a Christian oughtta be." You could argue I’m Not Ashamed is what a Christian movie oughtta be, too. Ashamed shares the final days of Rachel Joy Scott, one of the 13 people killed in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The film can’t escape the faith-based label. Rachel was a Christian, and it informed almost every aspect of her life.
The far-left filmmaker ripped into corporations, gun rights and President George W. Bush before most Hollywood voices rose up on those issues. He was loud and unabashedly so. Even if you disagreed with him, you knew he had his finger on the pulse of liberal America. Now, Moore is rushing out a new film attacking Donald Trump. Could Moore be any later to the party?
The co-host of The View didn’t wait long to say she was sorry for labeling women who claimed they were sexually abused by Bill Clinton “tramps.” She made the comments yesterday and offered up a true blue “I’m sorry” today. She didn’t even throw anyone under the bus in the process. That’s something a certain presidential candidate should consider the next time he’s cranking up an apology. And that could be any day now
Modern Hollywood hates the GOP. HBO repeatedly torches its national figures. Remember how Game Change and Confirmation tarnished Sarah Palin and Clarence Thomas, respectively? A-listers gather every four years to smite GOP candidates and swoon over Democrats. The recent DNC convention summoned a gaggle of celebrities to tout Hillary Clinton and savage GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump
Remember when celebrities gathered en masse to convince us Barack Obama was our country's savior? They opened up their wallets, and their homes, to fundraise for him. They sang his praises in every format feasible. They took time out of their packed schedules to campaign for him. They starred in PSAs imploring us how he needed our vote.
Hollywood leaning left is the ultimate "dog bites man" narrative. That’s been the way the industry has worked for some time. It intensifies during an election year, of course. This …. is different. We’re seeing a multi-front attack on Red State America, the likes of which we simply haven’t witnessed before. Blame Donald Trump, our safe space age or how social media turns nearly every aspect of our lives into an ALL CAPS affair.
There may be some Texas cliches a new gun control comedy missed. You could probably count them on one hand, though. Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? is less a satire than a tirade against Second Amendment devotees. It’s not preaching to the choir. It’s inviting the choir into its home, cooking it a three-course meal and rubbing its collective feet.
Clint Eastwood understands the cultural zeitgeist better than just about any Hollywood star. His “Dirty Harry” films arrived when the public had had enough of unchecked crime. Eastwood delivered “Unforgiven” just when we were ready to deconstruct the western genre. You don’t stay a star for more than five decades without understanding the culture at large. Yet “Sully” defies our current age.
Conservatives warned us President Barack Obama’s health care reform would be unsustainable. Reporters brushed off the claims, essentially cheerleading on behalf of the administration. In the annals of media bias, ObamaCare reportage will have its own meaty chapter. Reporters didn’t do the ObamaCare heavy lifting by themselves. Celebrities promoted the overhaul like it was a $200 million film with their careers on the line.
Film critic Richard Roeper didn't mince words about the "Ghostbusters" reboot. He hated it. The former co-host of Ebert & Roeper also knows film criticism is subjective. So he’s not one to rail against those who don’t see movies exactly the same way he does. He did just that, though, during a recent appearance on The Adam Carolla Show podcast. And Carolla had his back.
Quick show of hands ... who misses Hollywood's Bush-bashing years? You’ll get a blast from the recent past with “War Dogs,” a new comedy ripped from real headlines. Only this isn’t “In the Valley of Elah 2” or “Redacted: Even Redactier.”
The new Ghostbusters film may lose as much as $70 million for Sony when all is said in done. Possibly much more. If that comes as a surprise to you, don’t feel ashamed. You’ve probably been reading press accounts about the film for the past few weeks. Media bias thrives in both news and entertainment coverage.
Heather McDonald’s fans know her as the unexpurgated comic who says just about anything on stage or screen. That’s only partially true. McDonald, who played a pivotal role in E!’s long-running Chelsea Lately, knows she needs to be careful with every gag she lets loose now. The PC Police might be watching. “I don’t think any joke or Tweet is worth losing a job over. I have three kids. It’s not worth it to me. In some ways I’ve censored myself,” McDonald says.
Johnny Carson delivered, and he did so without revealing his party affiliation. That was then. Now, we have late night comics choosing sides. Some, like Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore and Seth Meyers, are essentially signing up for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Ghostbusters is the reboot our culture deserves. That’s hardly praise. The new film features a meandering story, a crush of stale one liners and several lame set pieces. What it offers? Duel victimization storylines ripped from today’s snowflake-encrusted headlines. Our heroines feel used, abused and neglected.
The Crips, the notorious gang who in 2014 were responsible for a third of the crimes in San Diego and 13 percent of the city’s total murder rate, are the good guys. God-fearing Christians? They cleanse their weapons in holy water before killing innocents. Yes, the low-fi horror franchise isn’t just attacking the Tea Party, the rich and NRA members in The Purge: Election Year. Franchise mentor James DeMonaco expands the target list to include Christians for round three.
The star of “Inside Amy Schumer” and last summer’s “Trainwreck” made sure of that. Since rising to “It Comic” status, Schumer has used her platform to speak out on a number of causes. She wants to be taken seriously. Even if she turns serious issues into yuk-yuk satires (that flunk the fact-check test).
Weiner began as a comeback story and ended up a profile in total humiliation. That isn’t the biggest takeaway from the documentary capturing Congressman Anthony Weiner’s precipitous fall from grace. It’s a damning portrait of modern journalism, the kind that reminds you why so many people don’t believe reporters. They trust their collective gut. And they’re right.
If someone in the movie business lost a job due to his or her skin color social media would rise up in anger. Venomous tweets. Righteous social media memes. And, if things really heat up, a hashtag campaign. The same holds true if a worker got passed over because of gender or religious beliefs. Who wouldn’t support that cause
Bond. Jane Bond. Captain America and Bucky ... soldiers, friends ... lovers. Yes, those Social Justice Warriors are having a busy May, trying to force their values on pop culture touchstones embraced by the masses. With Daniel Craig stepping away from the Bond franchise, SJWs are determined to cast X-Files alum Gillian Anderson as the next 007. Never mind that the character has been “manned” by seven different actors over the past 50 years.