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Author Topic: Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock (Kruge Revisted)  (Read 10349 times)
J'Maq
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« on: 12 16, 2005, 09:59: PM »

This was my third viewing of the film since its 1984 release and I feel the
same today about Christopher Lloyd's portrayal of Klingon Commander
Kruge as I did 25 years ago: abashed. Lloyd's performance was more
of a parody than anything else. His wink and a nod approach to the role
was disheartening to me. I remember people in the theater laughing at
him! GRRRrrr. Anyway, I suppose I've been spoiled by the
excellence of such actors like Michael Ansara (Kang), John Colicos (Kor)
and William Campbell (Koloth) from TOS. It was glorious seeing
those fine actors reprise their roles in the DS9 episode "Blood Oath."
And I would be more than remiss if I didn't mention the tour de force
Klingon portrayals by such accomplished actors as Michael Dorn (Worf),
Tony Todd (Kurn) and Robert O'Reilly (Gowron) and Mary Kay Adams,
whose character Grilka, will always have a honored place in my heart.
So, after 25 years since its release, Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock
only reinforces my opinion that Christopher Lloyd should have stuck to
driving a taxi as Reverend Jim--instead commanding a Klingon Bird of Prey as Commander Kruge.
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« Reply #1 on: 12 16, 2005, 10:45: PM »

Very interesting perspective on Kruge. I did not mind the performance as much as his voice. Because of all the quirky characters he has played (especially Reverend Jim) I had a hard time taking Kruge seriously when he spoke. But since Kruge was the second Imperial we saw and the first to have any real character, his place in Klingon (and fandom) history is well cemented, I would think.
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« Reply #2 on: 12 17, 2005, 01:32: AM »

...Lloyd's performance was more of a parody than anything else.

A parody of what, exactly? He portrayed the first major post-TOS Klingon character. His performance defined the role.

If you find fault with the character's actions, blame the script, not the actor. Recall that "The Powers That B&B" hadn't yet forced the transition from treachery to honor in the franchise's view of Klingon society. Note also that the director has a lot to say about what an actor is supposed to be doing. Nimoy definitely helped set the tone for Lloyd's presentation of Kruge.
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« Reply #3 on: 12 19, 2005, 12:28: PM »

I thought his portrayal of Kruge was very good.  At no point did I feel the need to laugh at his acting like a Klingon.  I think that the view that he cannot be taken seriously is a good example of typecasting.  He is a good actor and I for one applaud him in taking a roll so different from Reverand Jim.  I think it shows how good his acting ability actually is.  I did find that if I closed my eyes and listened to Kruge talking at certain points in the movie I could visualize one of Lloyd's many other characters.  In my opinion this is the only ammusing thing about him being Kruge.  HIs portrayal of Kruge seemed to be approached as a serious persona and while maybe not as good a TOS movie Klingon as say Chang he was still a great Klingon.  He cannot be faulted for not being as good as Chang, if that is the conclusion in comparing the two, because Christopher Plummer spent his life playing serious and dramatic characters and, at the time of the movie, Christopher Lloyd's characters have for the most part been comedic.

 I tested the theory that his portrayal of Kruge was comedic only when known that it was Lloyd who played him.  I had my mother, brother and boss watch the movie. All had been exposed to the Star Trek tv shows but none had seen the movie.  I did not tell them who played Kruge, and stopped the movie before the end credits showed his name.  After the movie ended I asked what they thought of the character and they all took his character seriously, they all were actually surprised when they found out that Kruge was Reverand Jim.  When showing the same film to people who knew that Kruge was played by Lloyed, Kruge was not taken as seriously as before, the common comment was "He's not a bad guy! What do they think?".

Quote
Nimoy definitely helped set the tone for Lloyd's presentation of Kruge.
I think that NImoy would not have made Kruge a comic character because the movie it self was serious.  Also the producers told Nimoy that they did not want Christopher Lloyed because of his roll as a comedic character.  When NImoy heard this he objected because Lloyed was a good actor and being turned down solely by typecasting.  Leonard NImoy said himself that he had a problem with being typecast after TOS.  I find it hard to believe that he would intentionally direct Kruge in a comic light because it woud reinforce Chris Lloyd's being typecast in the future.
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« Reply #4 on: 04 12, 2006, 02:39: PM »


 I tested the theory that his portrayal of Kruge was comedic only when known that it was Lloyd who played him. 

I think you may be on to something here.  There may be a cultural thing involved because my first question on reading this thread was "Who is Reverand Jim?"  I'm assuming it is somethng from an American Sitcom that I havent seen.  Anyway, my point is that, I did not know the actor was supposed to be a comedian and I definitely did not think he was funny or a parody.
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« Reply #5 on: 02 16, 2008, 02:01: PM »

I actually liked Kruge in Trek III, of course I never watched Taxi so I had no preset notion of the actors abilities.

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« Reply #6 on: 02 19, 2008, 09:26: AM »

It was hard for me to get that Maltz (John Laraquette...sp?) was also on "Black Sheep Squadron" and played one of the many happy go-lucky members of the Black Sheep, I believe Anderson was his charcters name.

Talk about role reversals

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« Reply #7 on: 02 19, 2008, 02:22: PM »

Maltz was John Laraquette?!!!

To this day I had no Idea!

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« Reply #8 on: 03 09, 2008, 04:39: AM »

Quote
Kehlan:  There may be a cultural thing involved because my first question on reading this thread was "Who is Reverand Jim?"  I'm assuming it is somethng from an American Sitcom that I havent seen.  Anyway, my point is that, I did not know the actor was supposed to be a comedian and I definitely did not think he was funny or a parody.

If going on two years later you are still wondering, Lloyd played Rev. Jim Ignatowski on the 1978-1983 US sitcom “Taxi”. It was about a group of taxi drivers working out of a New York City garage. Rev. Jim was a Harvard student turned burnt-out ex-addict whose overindulgences took their toll. He became a mail-order minister of the fly-by-night “Church of the Peaceful”. (In the US it is very easy to establish a church and become a legally ordained minister.)

See What does a yellow light mean? to get some idea of what Lloyd was up against in trying to change his image. "(Do you have any history of) mental illness or narcotic addiction?”  “That’s a tough choice.”  The lumberjack scene also gives some indication of Jim’s general state.

I never saw Kruge as being a comic character at all. I saw him more as a determined psychopath. If I saw side-by-side pictures of Lloyd as Kruge and then as Jim I probably wouldn’t make any connection. And yet as soon as Kruge spoke in that distinctive foggy/raspy voice of his, I flashed on Jim and his racehorse Gary and cracked up right there in the theatre.
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« Reply #9 on: 03 10, 2008, 08:06: AM »

I would say that the two related clips that really showcase Lloyd and Reverend Jim, would be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACF4XDznGEs&feature=related Jim at Harvard (which also features a young Tom Hanks) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i8y345FPqU&feature=related Jim Saves a Party, which shows Lloyd playing the piano. When you see how Jim evolved over the series, it is much easier to see him as the Strong Klingon Warrior that Kruge was.

But he has played a wide variety of characters over the years including Gym teachers and Mad Scientists.

As for John Laroquette, I primarily remember him as Dan Fielding from Night Court, who was so slimy that had he spoken more, I would have had a harder time seeing him as a Klingon than Lloyd.
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« Reply #10 on: 03 11, 2008, 02:55: PM »

anybody remember when Jim was addicted to Pac-Man and he was paid in quarters???
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« Reply #11 on: 03 11, 2008, 08:24: PM »

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qoSagh:   As for John Laroquette, I primarily remember him as Dan Fielding from Night Court, who was so slimy that had he spoken more, I would have had a harder time seeing him as a Klingon than Lloyd.

Maltz/Larroquette had so little to do in ST3 I don’t think one can judge his performance or Klingon-ness one way or another. He was basically a moving set piece who spoke, and then rarely. “I do not deserve to live” leaves little room for, well, anything, and most of what he’s done since has been less than memorable.

But in 1993 he starred in the eponymous “John Larroquette Show” as a hit-rock-bottom recovering alchoholic with a Lit degree who ends up managing a bus station in St. Louis. His character was dark, cynical, and angry (as prime time sitcoms go). From his performance I can easily imagine him as a Klingon, one with considerable depth of character. It’s a pity his talents were so wasted in ST3. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend you watch anything you can from S1. (The show ran for several years; S1 was great, but after that the show was defanged and the subsequent seasons were terrible.)
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« Reply #12 on: 03 12, 2008, 12:20: PM »

It wasn't until I was following the links in this thread and rediscovered Jim at Harvard, that I realized that the back story is very close for Jim Ignatowski of Taxi and Barney Gumble of the Simpsons.
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« Reply #13 on: 03 12, 2008, 02:42: PM »

I remember John Larroquette from Night Court; I actually liked him in that role. But did he do that before or after ST III? For some reason I thought Night Court aired after ST III was in the theater.

I just cannot remember now…

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« Reply #14 on: 03 12, 2008, 06:31: PM »


    He was amazing as Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding, AKA Reinhold Fielding Elmore.  He legally changed his name to sever ties with his redneck dirt-farming parents.  Wouldn't you change your name if you were called Reinhold?  (The series Executive Producer didn't, and ridiculed his own name by giving it to Fielding. Cheesy Klingon Grin)

    Yeah, I was shocked too when I read the credits later in the souveneer book I got...  I had to go back and look at the picture of Maltz, Krudge and Torgh to convince myself it was him.   As far as before or after... Try "during".  Night Court first aired Jan 4, 1984 and Star Trek 3 was released June 1, 1984.  But post production for a major motion picture usually takes several months to complete.  Most likely he performed as Maltz a few months before landing the gig as ADA Fielding, even though it aired after the first season of Night Court (which ran for 9 seasons). 
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« Reply #15 on: 05 09, 2009, 08:00: PM »

I didn't really like the whole movie...mostly because I though it wasn't fair that they kill off spock and then find a way to bring him back...cheeezy Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: 05 23, 2009, 03:30: PM »

Cheezy, yeah...but I believe it was the studio's proviso to let Nimoy direct STIII. Wait, I gotta check that. I definitely know Nimoy wanted to direct III, but only if they killed Spock off in II.
I gotta look back to the Special Features disc of the 2-Disc Special Edition of STIII. Have you all seen disc 2? A great wealth of info on the film and on Klingons! And to add, Mr. Loyd  was so dedicated in getting the tlhingan Hol as precise as could be. Mr. Okrand was on-set and in one instance, Mr. Nimoy yelled cut after a scene with Kruge, and Mr. Loyd was upset because even though the acting was on point, he turned to Mr. Okrand and said his pronunciation was not right and they should do another take- quite admirable and honorable. Also, for a great example of Mr Loyd's range, check out his subdued and honor bound portrayal of an ex-con in Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead.
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« Reply #17 on: 05 25, 2009, 12:16: PM »

You're obviously more informed than me, I'll give you that. I just thing it's cheesy because I always hate it in movies when you think someone's dead and then they bring them back...of course, I've seen movies where they found clever ways to bring people back, like I liked the *SPOILER*
ressurection of Gandalf in LOTR. But now I'm getting off topic.
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« Reply #18 on: 05 25, 2009, 05:48: PM »

Oh yeah...it's cheesy. It's so soap opera-ish. And then ST did it again with Data in ST: Nemesis...(Well, not really, but an replica brother is close enough)
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« Reply #19 on: 05 27, 2009, 11:22: AM »

Well the replica was ignorant of everything Data new, so it definetely wasn't Data...oh wait, didn't they feed Data's memory into his brother's? Oh, now I can't remember.
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« Reply #20 on: 05 28, 2009, 03:48: AM »

The replica was not Data, but there was a hint that he could catch up, something with humming or singing a tune.
And then again, androids are robots anyway. Theoretically they are fully replicable, however complicated they are. I guess all of their behaviour is somehow binary coded...
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« Reply #21 on: 05 28, 2009, 06:46: AM »

Yeah. I thought Data had downloaded his memories, too! (Ala Spocks katra transfer in STII) But although I saw the end of Nemesis last week, I coulda sworn Data did that (just in case). Guess I gotta rewatch it again.
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« Reply #22 on: 05 28, 2009, 10:48: AM »

I didn't like it enough to watch it all again  Tongue
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« Reply #23 on: 05 29, 2009, 01:52: PM »

LOL. Well, I don't have a copy of it myself. So, unless a fellow Klingon or Trekker can definitely confirm, you and I both could assume memory/hunch of Data's downloaded memories is sound.
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« Reply #24 on: 09 16, 2010, 02:40: AM »

I thought his portrayal of Kruge was very good.  At no point did I feel the need to laugh at his acting like a Klingon.  I think that the view that he cannot be taken seriously is a good example of typecasting.  He is a good actor and I for one applaud him in taking a roll so different from Reverand Jim.  I think it shows how good his acting ability actually is.  I did find that if I closed my eyes and listened to Kruge talking at certain points in the movie I could visualize one of Lloyd's many other characters.  In my opinion this is the only ammusing thing about him being Kruge.  HIs portrayal of Kruge seemed to be approached as a serious persona and while maybe not as good a TOS movie Klingon as say Chang he was still a great Klingon.  He cannot be faulted for not being as good as Chang, if that is the conclusion in comparing the two, because Christopher Plummer spent his life playing serious and dramatic characters and, at the time of the movie, Christopher Lloyd's characters have for the most part been comedic.

 I tested the theory that his portrayal of Kruge was comedic only when known that it was Lloyd who played him.  I had my mother, brother and boss watch the movie. All had been exposed to the Star Trek tv shows but none had seen the movie.  I did not tell them who played Kruge, and stopped the movie before the end credits showed his name.  After the movie ended I asked what they thought of the character and they all took his character seriously, they all were actually surprised when they found out that Kruge was Reverand Jim.  When showing the same film to people who knew that Kruge was played by Lloyed, Kruge was not taken as seriously as before, the common comment was "He's not a bad guy! What do they think?".

Quote
Nimoy definitely helped set the tone for Lloyd's presentation of Kruge.
I think that NImoy would not have made Kruge a comic character because the movie it self was serious.  Also the producers told Nimoy that they did not want Christopher Lloyed because of his roll as a comedic character.  When NImoy heard this he objected because Lloyed was a good actor and being turned down solely by typecasting.  Leonard NImoy said himself that he had a problem with being typecast after TOS.  I find it hard to believe that he would intentionally direct Kruge in a comic light because it woud reinforce Chris Lloyd's being typecast in the future.

I also really enjoyed Lloyd as Kruge. In fact, he is the only Klingon that I have ever found scary (the 9' Klingon that Worf coaxed out of a shuttlecraft in an episode of the Next Generation was menacing, but that's it). He was smart and deranged, and I have never seen a character like him before. I am a bit younger than most of you. I have never seen an episode of Taxi. When I saw him in Star Trek III, what popped in my mind was GREAT SCOTT!, because what I remember Lloyd from the most is Back to the Future. What I liked about Kruge was that he was a smart, menacing psychopath. He did have a comedy moment, though: when he orders his gunner to disable a ship's engines, the ship explodes. Kruge gives a look, and he's like "What the flip, dude? I wanted PRISONERS!" right before killing the gunner Darth Vader style after the gunner's "I had a lucky shot excuse." He was such a cool bad guy. He was a jerk, and I WANTED him to lose, but I want to see him come back to start more crap. I'm a late bloomer for the Star Trek films. All I had seen was First Contact, parts of Nemesis and Generations until seeing the first three Star Trek films three days ago. I'll watch IV, V and VI later.

It wasn't until I was following the links in this thread and rediscovered Jim at Harvard, that I realized that the back story is very close for Jim Ignatowski of Taxi and Barney Gumble of the Simpsons.

Knowing the Simpsons, that was most likely intentional.

Well the replica was ignorant of everything Data new, so it definetely wasn't Data...oh wait, didn't they feed Data's memory into his brother's? Oh, now I can't remember.

Yes, Data gave B-4 a complete copy of Data's memory banks.

In the comic Countdown (which is set in 2387 and bridges the gap between the Next Generation era and Star Trek XI) and Star Trek Online (which is set in the prime universe in 2409) both indicate that Geordi Nigh the Visor Guy retrieved Data's memories in B-4 and brought them forward. Since B-4 was a blank slate and copying a hard drive makes two identical hard drives, B-4 is now Data, and captains the current Enterprise. Though technically non-canon, I can't see it happening any other way, to be honest. And it parallels the Spock situation perfectly, except Nimoy will return to play Spock, but Spiner won't play Data because Spiner believes he had grown out of the role due to age and that Data is best represented as a youthful figure. He did reprise the role in a episode of Enterprise, but only in voice, if I remember correctly.
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