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Christian Toto

Articles by Christian Toto

Gifts to college archives preserve history

It's one thing for college students to glean information online or from a textbook. It's quite another to read or even hold actual material that played a part in history. Published July 8, 2009

On PG-13, parents are in land of lost

Describing some of the gags in the new PG-13 movies "Land of the Lost" and "Year One" in a family newspaper requires a delicate touch - and a strong stomach. Published June 28, 2009

Battle-trained cleanup team

Marine Sgt. Benjamin Lichtenwalner and Lance Cpl. Ryan Sawyer had the unenviable task of cleaning up the dead while stationed in Iraq. Published March 18, 2009

BOOKS: 'The Women'

T.C. Boyle's latest, a quasi-fictional take on Frank Lloyd Wright called "The Women," would have been more accurately dubbed "Miriam." Published March 1, 2009

Title shoots down film about Moore

Filmmaker Kevin Leffler's first movie, "Shooting Michael Moore," was set to open in Traverse City, Mich., last month, but the screening got canceled at the last minute. Was it politically motivated censorship? Published February 27, 2009

Charity-minded cast nets online

Peter Corbett keeps tabs on his faraway friends via social media outlets such as and Published February 18, 2009

BOOKS: The Associate

The inspiration for John Grisham's latest novel, "The Associate," could have come from 2006's notorious Duke lacrosse rape case. But Mr. Grisham's new book also shares a connection with the novelist's own past. Published February 8, 2009

Bush exit a serious matter for comics

President Bush's polarizing eight years in office did manage to unite one group behind him in virtual lockstep. Where would comedians be without the Bush administration? Published January 17, 2009

'Bushisms' gave comics eight years of material

President Bush's polarizing eight years in office did manage to unite one group behind him in virtual lockstep. Where would comedians be without the Bush administration? Published January 16, 2009

MOVIES: Superhero's 'Spirit' lacking

After spending 100-plus minutes watching "The Spirit," we're clueless, and writer-director Frank Miller, a legend in comic-book circles but still a film neophyte, doesn't even begin to fill in the blanks regarding Will Eisner's '40s-era serial comic. Published December 24, 2008

MOVIES: "Marley & Me"

Flip through the pages of the best-selling "Marley & Me," about an out-of-control dog and his exasperated owners, and you'll fear the kind of movie it would spawn. Published December 24, 2008

Actor Will Smith plays hero beyond film

Will Smith isn't a superhero, but he understands what Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker in "Spider-Man": "With great power comes great responsibility." Published December 18, 2008

Eye-opening experience

It's the kind of pitch most studio executives would hide under their desks rather than hear. Here's the story of a German boy who befriends a Holocaust prisoner being held captive by the boy's father. Oh, and don't even think about a happy ending. Published December 16, 2008

MOVIES: Van Damme goes indie in 'JCVD'

Jean-Claude Van Damme nearly rose to the heights of other '80s action heroes like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he never got his "Rambo" or "Terminator" to complete his ascent. The 47-year-old actor may have the last laugh. Published November 21, 2008

BOOKS: Stephen King in short, still has it

The best of "Just After Sunset" reveals another Stephen King, a writer not satisfied with his sales figures, someone forever searching for new ways to tell a great story. Published November 16, 2008

MOVIES: 'Role Models'?

"Role Models" would not be hitting theaters in its current crude form if not for the success of R-rated comedies including "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Wedding Crashers." After all, a tale of two misfits forced to serve as Big Brother-style mentors would score big with the PG-13 crowd. Published November 7, 2008