I’m sure most of you have heard about the retirement of the one and only Bruce Motherfuckin Willis – a.k.a. Bruno, a.k.a. Walter B – due to a diagnosis of aphasia, a disorder which interferes with the ability to comprehend speech. I saw a tabloid story quite a while ago which claimed he was struggling with early onset dementia, and it’s unclear to me whether that was a misunderstanding about this, or whether that was true and this is a further development. Either way, it explains some of what has been going on with him in recent years, which honestly people have been pretty unkind about. But now they know.
I don’t need to tell you what Bruce means to me and everything we do here, but here’s a brief summary: I idolized him as a kid because of Moonlighting, DIE HARD is kinda my favorite movie, my first Usenet post was about DIE HARD, many people are kind enough to associate me with DIE HARD and refer all DIE HARD related news items to me, Titan Books associated me enough with him that they got me to name my review collection after him, also there was a famous incident in the Ain’t It Cool days when Bruce himself unexpectedly logged in as a talkbacker to respond to my concerns about LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD being rated PG-13. To my left as I write I have a beautiful framed Thai DIE HARD poster that I look to for inspiration. Three days ago I bought The Return of Bruno on vinyl.
One of my favorite things I’ve written was the piece about DIE HARD from a little after my dad died. If you’ve read that you know how much my feelings about DIE HARD and Bruce are tied in with memories of my dad, who I lost to Alzheimers. I see alot of my dad in myself and fear inheriting his fate; also I have always looked up to aspects of Bruce and aspired to be like him. So obviously it hit me hard on a number of different levels when I first heard about this. Since I always believed the story it didn’t come as a shock to read the confirmation today, but the emotions came at me like a flood. And I know it’s the same for many of you.
I just feel for him and his family and I hope they’re able to enjoy their time together. Let’s all celebrate Bruce and send good thoughts to him and his family and friends. Also, which Bruce movies is it a shame I haven’t reviewed? I’ve done the big action ones, but surely there are some gaps.