Christian Toto is a film critic and podcaster and runs the website HollywoodInToto.com.
Latest from Christian Toto
You can’t expect the press to ignore Katie Couric’s “return” to the show that made her a star. Yet, once more, media outlets let their biases show by not mentioning the biggest Couric story of the past 12 months. Namely, the $12 million defamation lawsuit against her in connection to an anti-gun documentary. The suit came after the Couric-produced “Under the Gun” edited a sequence to make a group of pro-Second Amendment activists look outgunned, rhetorically speaking, while being interviewed by the journalist.
On the surface, “Passengers” looks like sci-fi catnip. Two attractive stars play passengers on a long-distance space flight. Their cryo-pods open prematurely, forcing them to fix the faulty beds or live out their lives in space. Alone. The only thing left for them to do is fall in love. That delivers both a sci-fi punch and romantic potential. And then there’s Lawrence’s open letter. The Oscar winner sent it out after Donald Trump’s shocking electoral victory last month. To be fair, since every other celebrity chimed in on the election perhaps the “Passengers” star felt some sort of obligation.
Ghostbusters director Paul Feig is still battling those Internet trolls while ignoring why his movie was doomed. Paul Feig can rock a finely tailored suit. He’s far less comfortable defending his Ghostbusters reboot. The veteran director steered a can’t miss brand into a ditch. Media reports suggested the film ended up losing $70 million for Sony Pictures. That’s no easy feat given how beloved the Ghostbusters brand is to this day.
Hollywood's latest gun control measure doubles down on a failed Clinton campaign trick. Hillary Clinton nearly threw out her shoulder playing the Gender Card during her recent White House. It didn’t work. Now, the minds behind the Twitter account for “Miss Sloane” are milking one of Clinton’s failed feminist memes.
The animators behind Moana weren't satisfied with making yet another Disney smash. They worked tirelessly to understand, appreciate and share Polynesian culture with audiences the world over. Years of intense research impacted the screenwriting as well as the finished animation. This reporter spoke to two animators on the project. They took the cultural issues seriously. They spoke of how much it meant to them to honor the traditions that inspired the story.
Next Christmas we’ll have Hollywood’s latest attack on a prominent conservative gift wrapped under our tree. Notoriously liberal Adam McKay is writing and directing a new film focused on Vice President Dick Cheney. The film is slated to go into production early next year for a late 2017 release.
One of the hackiest recurring headlines in modern journalism is "Saturday Night Dead." One of the hackiest recurring headlines in modern journalism is "Saturday Night Dead."Critics have been using that for years whenever Saturday Night Live, NBC’s signature sketch series, slipped a notch. Or three, as the case often was. Then the show would come roaring back, and the headlines were forgotten. Not anymore
Amy Schumer would make a great mainstream media reporter. She sent out a meme regarding Donald Trump that had been debunked weeks ago. She even admitted it was phony but said it “doesn’t matter.” Fake but accurate. Got it. Dan Rather on line two, Ms. Schumer
Sarah Silverman has a funny way of sharing her love for the United States. Sure, the shock comedienne loves her country. She just doesn’t see it as better than other nations. Nor is she comfortable with public displays of patriotism. Even the sight of a boyfriend raising an American flag gave her the creeps. Silverman recalled her fear of patriotism earlier this month during a politically-charged chat with New Yorker magazine. Silverman shared how she once recoiled as a beau installed an American flag outside of his property.
"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.”