|Posted by richb on September 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM|
I’ve done a lot of talking about programs and movies I like,but what about the actors who bring these amazing characters to life? Startingwhat I hope will be a new regular series, my tribute to…. Where I take an actorand go over all the things I have seen him or her in, and discuss my opinionson them and their work. I am only going to list the things that I have actuallyseen, so if something awesome he did is missing that is why.
Today I am starting with one of my favorites. He put thecharacter back in character actor, and when I was a kid if I heard his name Iknew the project was going to be good. Christopher Lloyd is simple one of my all-timefavorites. Where did I first see him? Hard to say exactly, but I became a fanat very early age.
One of his first movies was in the classic “One Flew Overthe Cuckoo’s Nest” in a minor role. Not much to say about that, except thatDanny Devito also got his start in that film.
TAXI-I did not love this show, because it got a little darkfor me sometimes. I did admire the strong cast they had, which included ChristopherLloyd as Reverend Jim who always a guaranteed laugh. He was one of thosecharacters who was supposed to be a guest star but caught on and stayed. Hischaracter was a burned out ex-hippy who was just kind of nuts. But ChristopherLloyd made him so likable. One episode I will always remember was a flashbackwhere we see how Jim got started on his path with drugs (so funny to see himcome in all normal). But the best episode, and one of the funniest moments Ihave ever seen, was the classic where Jim is trying to get his driver’s license.There is no way to describe it here, but when Jim asks the question “What doesa yellow light mean?”…..it’s one of the best moments ever. If you have neverseen it, here is the link. This is why Reverend Jim was one of the bestcharacters on that show.
Mr.Mom-This Michael Keaton movie has to be one of the mostforgettable movies I have ever seen. I know I saw it, but can hardly rememberit. I do remember Michael Keaton was kind of funny in it. Christopher Lloyd isone of his friends, but honestly I don’t remember much about that role.
Star Trek III-This is really hard to believe, but when itwas first announced that Christopher Lloyd was going to be the Klingon villain,a lot of people had doubts. How could the same guy who played Jim on Taxi playa Klingon in Star Trek? Yeah that sounds crazy now, but it’s true. What we alllearned when we saw the film was that he could play a great Klingon. Kruge was not the best villain in the movies,but he wasn’t the worst either. I think Christopher Lloyd really made thecharacter work, and created a standard for Klingons that would be followedyears later.
Back to the Future-Yes I have gone on and one about thisone. My favorite movie of all time, and that was in no small part because ofthe way Christopher Lloyd played Doc Brown. I said he played the quintessentialKlingon in Star Trek III, well here he played the quintessential mad scientist.He was perfect, right down to the crazy white hair. It would have been easy tonot like Doc Brown, at least in the beginning. He does steal plutonium from theLibyans. That isn’t exactly honorable. But as the movie progresses you can’thelp but be charmed and he created one the most memorable characters ever.
Clue-This silly comedy is one of my favorites. It is just sofunny and well done, I have seen it a hundred times. Based on a board game, themovie is basically the cast running around and being silly. But the charactersare strong (actually the cast is strong) and the jokes work, so we love it.Christopher Lloyd plays Professor Plum, and while this may not have been hismost memorable role he still brings his usual charm to it. Even at the end whenwe find he had an affair with a patient and shot Mr.Body, we laugh at themoment! That’s how much charm he gives what is otherwise a despicablecharacter.
Amazing Stories-Let’s talk about this one for a second.Amazing Stories was an anthology series created by Steven Spielberg, much likea twilight zone of the 80’s. The episode Christopher Lloyd was in I remembervery well. Why? BECAUSE IT SCARED THE EVER LIVING CRAP OUT OF ME!! I made the big mistake of watching thisalone, as we see Chris Lloyd can take his usual charm and turn it so that it isalmost scary. The episode called “Go To The Head of the Class” was about ahorrible teacher, and when a student uses black magic on him the results are…well,horrifying. This show wasn’t usually scary, but here is one major exception andit was all because of Christopher Lloyd who put really dove into the role. Thisavailable so if you never saw it, check it out. Just don’t watch it alone. (theoriginal ad for the show said parental discretion advised, guess I should havelistened)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-A lot of people were scared by his role in this movie. Judge Doom was a really nasty villain, but I don’t remember being scared by him. That doesn’tmean I didn’t love the role, and the movie in fact. This was such a fun film,never did I expect to see a movie where Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse wouldactually share screen time. It really amazes me how Christopher Lloyd can be socharming in one movie, and totally menacing in another. Here he is totallymenacing, and the way he just stares at the characters in this movie could sendchills down a spine. Then those red eyes….who can forget those red eyes!
Back to the Future II & III-I wanted to discuss thesefilms separate from the other because Christopher Lloyd brings something verydifferent to Back to the Future III. Finally he gets to do a love story. True Ihave complained that the love story was all wrong for this movie, butforgetting that and taking it as it is I will admit Christoher Lloyd did anamazing job. In the scene after he tells Clara he can no longer see heranymore, you can really feel the pain he is going through. When we see Doc and Clara flying off to thesunset on the hover board, I was happy to see they were together. Why did theyhave to ruin it with that corny ending?? Well, that’s beside the point. Inthese two films Doc Brown went from being the nutty scientist to a full,fleshed out person.
Back to the Future-The Ride-Ok this wasn’t a movie or TVshow. It was just a ride at Universal Studios and Christopher Lloyd did thenarration and video segments which aired while we waited in line. Reallyt isn’tworth mentioning, and if you missed out on this ride (which is closed now) youreally missed a cool attraction.
Suburban Commando-Why did I see this movie? Got me, exceptthat I was a wrestling fan at the time and of course Christopher Lloyd was init. Yeah it was silly but wasn’t all horrible. Of course Nostalgia Critic did areview on this film, and while the line he loves was not my favorite, I wouldbe remiss if I didn’t include it in this discussion. I WAS FROZEN TODAY!! Great example of how he could take a simpleline and make something people love.
The Addams Family-This was a great movie, and one of themajor reasons for that was Uncle Fester. Christopher Lloyd managed to find astrong balance between charming and menacing, in fact if you watch the firstmovie you aren’t sure if you’re supposed to like him or hate him! The sequelwas good to but not as good as the first. He also had great chemistry with RaulJulia which realty helped. The plot of Addams Family was kind of lame, to be honest, but Christopher Lloyd makes the movie work. This is one of his more forgotten roles, and if you’ve never seen it then check it out.
Angels in the Outfield-By the time this movie rolled around,I think Christopher Lloyd was the go to actor when a film needed someone toliven the film up. Much the same way Robin Williams did in Aladdin, ChristopherLloyd plays the angel AL . The whole premise of this movie is dumb, and I’m noteven talking about the angels helping the players to cheat. Why does this kidwant his parents back together when it is so clear his father is a jerk? Can’t he tell his father was being sarcastic? Thekid in this is too old, he should be smarter than that. Then of course when weget to the championship, the angels can’t help. What the hell? By the anyway,did anyone see the TV sequel about football? If you didn’t, be grateful.Christopher Lloyd elevates this film into something tolerable.
Pagemaster-I am cheating on this, because I am only familiarwith this through the Nostalgia Critic episode. I decided that was enough forme to comment on this. Christopher Lloyd plays the creepy Librarian who getsMacauley Culkin’s characters off on his adventure. He was pretty good in therole, to bad the film itself wasn’t that good. I could mention Baby Geniuses,but I’d rather not.
Alice in Wonderland- I remember watching this made for TVmovie, but I honestly forgot that Christopher Lloyd was in it. I pulled up aclip on You Tube, and in fact he played The White Knight. Not sure why Iblocked it out, but he was really good in this small role.
Spin City-We got a real treat in one episode whereChristopher Lloyd was reunited with Michael J.Fox. It was a treat to see themtogether, and the in jokes referring to Back to the Future were great! ChristopherLloyd plays a man who believes he is god, and only he could pull off that one. Very funny episode.
Lots of other amazing stuff I just didn’t see including Anastasia,The Dream Team, and My Favorite Martian. I would be here all day if I listedevery role he ever had; he has been all over movies and TV. Christopher Lloydhas always been one of my favorite actors, and he has the ability to elevatethe worst project into something decent.
Categories: 80's and 90's central