Flashback: Willis Confronts PG-13 Haters On Webcam – ManlyMovie

Flashback: Willis Confronts PG-13 Haters On Webcam

Note: I’m bumping this back to the top because it’s now ten years (give or take 24 hours or so) since this little outburst originally happened. Yes, I do have the memory of an elephant and yes, this is our signal that Live Free or Die Hard is heading for its tenth anniversary – Night Rider

Way back when DHINO was being promoted, people started to worry that from the trailer, it looked like a pile of family-themed ass.  On the website AICN, which is a pretty big site that gets big interviews from the likes of Stallone, the infamous talkback section wasn’t just unhappy, it was in atomic uproar about the PG-13 announcement.  Then, some guy appears under the pseudonym ‘Walter_B’, claiming to be associated with the movie and that people need to calm down.  Most didn’t, some accused him of being Willis.

This is a little known about affair.  But as chance would have it, I happened to be browsing the article, and the comments section, right as it happened.  AintItCool apparently did not take long to remove the entire article, including all comments.  And the whole affair disappeared from the ‘net.  Or so they thought.  I have the evidence – and the words – stored, and I’m reproducing them here in this article.  As further proof I’m including screengrabs of Willis on webcam.  Sadly I never did get the video itself.  Willis was playing the victim – a stance that would change heavily when he realized he had the talkbackers star-struck and in the palm of his hand.  In the meantime, before he appeared on camera, Walter_B caused one of the site owners to interject;

Moriarty: Walter B. is not Bruce Willis. Bruce and Harry are going to talk soon. Harry’s got a little trip to take first, but when he’s back, we’ll get the Bruce Willis conversation started here on the site. Rest assured that if Bruce Willis wanted to join the Talkbacks, we’d authenticate him and give him a black box so you could be sure who you were talking to. I’m sorry if any of you feel duped. I didn’t realize this was going on. So… that in mind… the Q&A with the real Bruce will still be happening… soon…

Then, the response…

Walter_B: And Moriarty, sorry kid, but you I also find amusing. Hit me with your best test. BW.

Moriarty: Okay. Call Harry and tell him you are posting in the talkbacks. That’s it. The one and only test that matters. Short of that conversation happening… now… Walter B. is simply not Bruce Willis.

Moriarty: This was not Bruce Willis. It really shouldn’t even be a question but in case you’re still wondering… nope. Not him.

Walter_B: I realized how we can solve this conundrum quite easliy. You all live in a digital world. someone must have a Mac with iChat camera ability. Send me your biggest doubter, who has iChat/video ability, and have them call ( i will give that person my iChat address, and they will see me talking to them. I doubt if there is a way to fake that. let’s see…. thanks bw and what is a black box?

And then…

Willis starts talking to one of the guys in the comment section on webcam.  People who were hitherto in uproar were now starstruck.  I happened to be reading this whole exchange between Willis and the talkbackers.  I wasn’t a member of the site, which you had to be to post, because I’m not into every movie released (only MANLY MOVIES, y’see).  And everytime I refreshed the page, Willis was trying to polish the DHINO turd.  Despite appearing on camera, Willis wasn’t finished in the comments section;

Walter_B: The Mythology of Die Hard started getting used, everyone got it, almost immediately. We never thought we were shooting a movie, not a rating. i have said it elsewhere on this Thread, but except for the Fuck quotient, this Film is as badass as the First, and way tougher than 2 or 3, and the hardcore heart of the Film’s Mythology has not been compromised one bit, regardless of the outrage of those who haven’t seen it yet.    

That’s right, Willis called DHINO ‘as badass’ as the first.  But what you didn’t see was Willis upping the ante and calling it superior to the first.  Among other things, such as taking shots at the director of Armageddon.

Before the talkbackers knew it was him, he was taking a (faux) stand against PG-13.  When he had them on side, by appearing on camera, it all changed.  Willis went on to kiss Len Wiseman’s ass, herald the benefits of PG-13 and condescend people arguing that Die Hard is an Rated-R franchise.  At the time, part of me thought, shit, Willis knows this is going to be a turd and regrets doing it and is now in damage control mode.  Well that observation was partly correct, he was engaging in damage control but he had zero regrets.

Willis by the way, before he took to webcam, insinuated that the studio screwed him on the rating, without actually saying it.  That assertion seemed less convincing after the hard sell began once he had bamboozled the talkbackers.

Funnily enough, AICN was the subject of more unintentionally funny PG-13 controversy a few years later.  This time with Sylvester Stallone and The Expendables 2.  Stallone revealed to the site back in 2012 that the movie was set to be PG-13.  Then after a concerted fan assault, of which I’m proud to say I was a small part of, ‘R’ re-shoots were hastily filmed and Stallone did a bizarre U-turn.

 “After taking in all the odd rumors and hearsay, EXPENDABLES II is an R.”

Bit of a memory lapse there, Sly?