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Christian Toto

Articles by Christian Toto

Katie Holmes stars as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the eight-part miniseries. Would-be advertisers have been hesitant to buy in. (

'Kennedys' miniseries finds new TV home

Before ReelzChannel CEO Stan Hubbard bought the broadcast rights to the political hot potato known as "The Kennedys," he watched all eight installments of the miniseries to settle the questions he needed to have answered. Published March 21, 2011

Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Melding of film, video games will affect apps, social media

Hollywood has been bringing popular video games to the big screen for decades with less than exemplary results. But the two media realms are being brought together once more for a new partnership between the Tribeca Film Institute and the Ford Foundation's JustFilms initiative. Published February 23, 2011

How Hollywood shaped Gipper

The president's days as an in-demand actor weren't merely a table read for the biggest role of his life. His Hollywood tenure helped shape his character, refine his communication skills and hone negotiating tactics that would serve him — and the country — well during his two-term presidency. Published February 3, 2011

Filmmakers blurring line between documentary, drama

The Best Documentary Oscar to be handed out next month could go to a film made by a director who won't reveal his name and that even admiring movie critics concede could be a bunch of hooey. Published January 10, 2011

MOVIES: The year past as preview

In 2010, the "Harry Potter" franchise ruled anew, Pixar dazzled audiences with a toy chest full of old friends, and a Smith rocked the box office. Published December 30, 2010

Facebook, social media help companies sell

Social media is a way film studios can extend a character's brand, juice DVD sales and stoke awareness should the need for a sequel or reboot arise. Published December 5, 2010

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, might have to ditch the chaps for a tuxedo. (Disney/Pixar)

Can a cartoon cowboy lasso Oscar's top prize?

For years, Oscar voters have viewed animation as a second-tier genre, but "Toy Story 3," featuring the voice of Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, seems the most likely film to shatter the animated glass ceiling. Published November 25, 2010

Chinese film 'Aftershock' shakes tradition

China isn't content playing a critical role in the U.S. economy by gobbling up chunks of the national debt. Now the global powerhouse is exporting some of its most popular films to American theaters, courtesy of AMC Entertainment. Published November 7, 2010

BOOKS: 'Last Words: A Memoir'

George Carlin died more than a year ago, but his just-released memoir sounds as if he is still with us, rested and ready to ridicule the latest cultural hypocrisies. Published November 15, 2009

Milestone envy pressures parents

Milestone envy isn't a condition, it's more like a societal pressure that adds one more burden to already beleaguered parents. Published October 18, 2009

Now Billingsley directs 'Retreat'

Peter Billingsley didn't feel pressure directing his first feature film, the new comedy "Couples Retreat." After all, he spent the last 30-odd years either in front of the camera as a child actor or, later, ensconced in the producer's chair. Published October 12, 2009

BOOKS: 'Homer & Langley: A Novel'

Real-life brothers Homer and Langley Collyer died decades ago, but E.L. Doctorow's imaginative take on their hermit like story invites comparisons to modern-day mores. Published September 6, 2009

Indies thrive in 'Summer'

Now that major film studios have fired their heaviest artillery of the summer, smaller studios are battling back with their cinematic pop guns - independent features. Published August 20, 2009

BOOKS: 'Inherent Vice'

Few private investigators in any brand of fiction faced the kinds of roadblocks Larry "Doc" Sportello encounters in Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice." (Did Columbo ever wade through an armada of acid flashbacks to solve a crime or save the innocent?) Published August 9, 2009