My Tribute to Christopher Lloyd
Iâ€™ve done a lot of talking about programs and movies I like, but what about the actors who bring these amazing characters to life? Starting what I hope will be a new regular series, a tribute toâ€¦. Where I take an actor and go over all the things I have seen him or her in, and discuss my opinions on them and their work. I am only going to list the things that I have actually seen, so if something awesome he did is missing that is why.
Today I am starting with one of my favorites. He put the character back in character actor, and when I was a kid if I heard his name I knew the project was going to be good. Christopher Lloyd is simple one of my all-time favorites. Where did I first see him? Hard to say exactly, but I became a fan at very early age.
One of his first movies was in the classic â€œOne Flew Over the Cuckooâ€™s Nestâ€ in a minor role. Not much to say about that, except that Danny Devito also got his start in that film.
TAXI-I did not love this show, because it got a little dark for me sometimes. I did admire the strong cast they had, which included Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim who always a guaranteed laugh. He was one of those characters who was supposed to be a guest star but caught on and stayed. His character was a burned out ex-hippy who was just kind of nuts. But Christopher Lloyd made him so likable. One episode I will always remember was a flashback where we see how Jim got started on his path with drugs (so funny to see him come in all normal). But the best episode, and one of the funniest moments I have ever seen, was the classic where Jim is trying to get his driverâ€™s license. There is no way to describe it here, but when Jim asks the question â€œWhat does a yellow light mean?â€â€¦..itâ€™s one of the best moments ever. If you have never seen it, here is the link. This is why Reverend Jim was one of the best characters on that show.
Mr.Mom-This Michael Keaton movie has to be one of the most forgettable movies I have ever seen. I know I saw it, but can hardly remember it. I do remember Michael Keaton was kind of funny in it. Christopher Lloyd is one of his friends, but honestly I donâ€™t remember much about that role.
Star Trek III-This is really hard to believe, but when it was 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 play a Klingon in Star Trek? Yeah that sounds crazy now, but itâ€™s true. What we all learned when we saw the film was that he could play a great Klingon. Kruge was not the best villain in the movies, but he wasnâ€™t the worst either. I think Christopher Lloyd really made the character work, and created a standard for Klingons that would be followed years later.
Back to the Future-Yes I have gone on and one about this one. My favorite movie of all time, and that was in no small part because of the way Christopher Lloyd played Doc Brown. I said he played the quintessential Klingon 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 to not like Doc Brown, at least in the beginning. He does steal plutonium from the Libyans. That isnâ€™t exactly honorable. But as the movie progresses you canâ€™t help but be charmed and he created one the most memorable characters ever.
Clue-This silly comedy is one of my favorites. It is just so funny and well done, I have seen it a hundred times. Based on a board game, the movie is basically the cast running around and being silly. But the characters are 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 his most memorable role he still brings his usual charm to it. Even at the end when we find he had an affair with a patient and shot Mr.Body, we laugh at the moment! Thatâ€™s how much charm he gives what is otherwise a despicable character.
Amazing Stories-Letâ€™s talk about this one for a second. Amazing Stories was an anthology series created by Steven Spielberg, much like a twilight zone of the 80â€™s. The episode Christopher Lloyd was in I remember very well. Why? BECAUSE IT SCARED THE EVER LIVING CRAP OUT OF ME!! I made the big mistake of watching this alone, as we see Chris Lloyd can take his usual charm and turn it so that it is almost scary. The episode called â€œGo To The Head of the Classâ€ was about a horrible teacher, and when a student uses black magic on him the results areâ€¦well, horrifying. This show wasnâ€™t usually scary, but here is one major exception and it was all because of Christopher Lloyd who put really dove into the role. This available so if you never saw it, check it out. Just donâ€™t watch it alone. (the original ad for the show said parental discretion advised, guess I should have listened)
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 donâ€™t remember being scared by him. That doesnâ€™t mean I didnâ€™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 would actually share screen time. It really amazes me how Christopher Lloyd can be so charming in one movie, and totally menacing in another. Here he is totally menacing, and the way he just stares at the characters in this movie could send chills down a spine. Then those red eyesâ€¦.who can forget those red eyes!
Back to the Future II & III-I wanted to discuss these films separate from the other because Christopher Lloyd brings something very different to Back to the Future III. Finally he gets to do a love story. True I have complained that the love story was all wrong for this movie, but forgetting that and taking it as it is I will admit Christoher Lloyd did an amazing job. In the scene after he tells Clara he can no longer see her anymore, you can really feel the pain he is going through. When we see Doc and Clara flying off to the sunset on the hover board, I was happy to see they were together. Why did they have to ruin it with that corny ending?? Well, thatâ€™s beside the point. In these two films Doc Brown went from being the nutty scientist to a full, fleshed out person.
Back to the Future-The Ride-Ok this wasnâ€™t a movie or TV show. It was just a ride at Universal Studios and Christopher Lloyd did the narration and video segments which aired while we waited in line. Reallyt isnâ€™t worth mentioning, and if you missed out on this ride (which is closed now) you really missed a cool attraction.
Suburban Commando-Why did I see this movie? Got me, except that I was a wrestling fan at the time and of course Christopher Lloyd was in it. Yeah it was silly but wasnâ€™t all horrible. Of course Nostalgia Critic did a review on this film, and while the line he loves was not my favorite, I would be remiss if I didnâ€™t include it in this discussion. I WAS FROZEN TODAY!! Great example of how he could take a simple line and make something people love.
The Addams Family-This was a great movie, and one of the major reasons for that was Uncle Fester. Christopher Lloyd managed to find a strong balance between charming and menacing, in fact if you watch the first movie you arenâ€™t sure if youâ€™re supposed to like him or hate him! The sequel was good to but not as good as the first. He also had great chemistry with Raol Julia 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 youâ€™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 to liven the film up. Much the same way Robin Williams did in Aladdin, Christopher Lloyd plays the angel AL . The whole premise of this movie is dumb, and Iâ€™m not even talking about the angels helping the players to cheat. Why does this kid want his parents back together when it is so clear his father is a jerk? Canâ€™t he tell his father was being sarcastic? The kid in this is too old, he should be smarter than that. Then of course when we get to the championship, the angels canâ€™t help. What the hell? By the anyway, did anyone see the TV sequel about football? If you didnâ€™t, be grateful. Christopher Lloyd elevates this film into something tolerable.
Pagemaster-I am cheating on this, because I am only familiar with this through the Nostalgia Critic episode. I decided that was enough for me to comment on this. Christopher Lloyd plays the creepy Librarian who gets Macauley Culkinâ€™s characters off on his adventure. He was pretty good in the role, to bad the film itself wasnâ€™t that good. I could mention Baby Geniuses, but Iâ€™d rather not.
Alice in Wonderland- I remember watching this made for TV movie, but I honestly forgot that Christopher Lloyd was in it. I pulled up a clip on You Tube, and in fact he played The White Knight. Not sure why I blocked it out, but he was really good in this small role.
Spin City-We got a real treat in one episode where Christopher Lloyd was reunited with Michael J.Fox. It was a treat to see them together, and the in jokes referring to Back to the Future were great! Christopher Lloyd plays a man who believes he is god, and only he could pull off that one.
Lots of other amazing stuff I just didnâ€™t see including Anastasia, The Dream Team, and My Favorite Martian. I would be here all day if I listed every role he ever had; he has been all over movies and TV. Christopher Lloyd has always been one of my favorite actors, and he has the ability to elevate the worst project into something decent.