If you're a regular visitor here at Film.com, and you should be (obey ... OBEY ...), you may have noticed our enticing "Funny Stuff" tab. (G'head, I'll wait. We're on your time here.) Had you chanced to click it earlier this week, you might have seen this rousing, impassioned spleen-venting, by Ain't It Cool News contributor "Vern," regarding the now-confirmed PG-13 rating attached to the impending Live Free or Die Hard. It's a funny piece, though peppered with the sort of language we can only imply here.
The most interesting bit, though, is the "talkback."
If you're following at home, you'll notice that the original post showed up two weeks ago, on May 2. For the next few days, the vast majority of responses take the form of rah-rahs and amens and spirited commiserations. Everyone's piling on, all "screw this" and "screw that" and "screw Fox" (except not "screw") -- with the occasional "Do something about this, Bruce!" in case the big guy's listening.
Come May 5, up pops a comment by someone calling himself "Walter B," who claims (1) he worked on the first and the latest films, and (2) they're comparable, kick-ass-wise.
Two posts later, he's back, saying Live Free is the best Die Hard yet, "Take it from a guy who was there for all of them. John MaF[--]kin'Clane." More than one poster expresses skepticism, and Walter disappears.
He's back the next day, backing LFODH director Len Wiseman, and saying that Michael Bay, suggested for the job, "Would have ruined DH4. Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again." Someone pointedly notes that "Walter" is the real first name of one W.B. Willis. Others quickly ridicule him.
The next day, Walter responds: "i am John Maf[--]kin'Clane ... getting ready to launch the longest shot of my career, I feel a strong personal pull to hear from an audience I do not know ... Beedub." It suffices for some: Walter B is now fielding questions about the "yippie ki-yay" line and who would win in a Sly-Arnie fight, amid the naysayers who call b.s. for sundry reasons (not the least of which is his variant spelling of "McClane"). Someone suggests that Walter call AICN head Harry Knowles, who might bestow a VIP-reserved "black box" and end all debate, but Walt doesn't have the number. Meantime, the cynics are on the attack: A particularly vocal user starts grilling would-be-Willis on details of a decade-old Cannes fest (he gets some, misses others, cites bad memory); another writes: "Mr. Walter B Wisill, my name is Umagaa Ombongo ... and I am Vice-President of a bank in Nigeria and I have a proposition for you that could make you 17.7 BILLION!!!"
It's about this time that AICN big-wig "Moriarty" strolls by and drops this bomb: "Guys ... Walter B. is not Bruce Willis." Much name-calling and abandoning-all-hope ensues.
Until ... Walter B gets a black box and all Jumanji breaks loose.
Ah, the power of the internet. And now that Film.com has comments enabled, let's put maximum effort into luring our own apocryphal-celeb scandal, eh guys?
I'll start: I could totally beat up Francis Ford Coppola.
Brian Villalobos lives in Austin, Texas (practically), writes on film and TV, and totally cried at Stuart Little.