Critically acclaimed and WWE Studios don't really seem to fit together but their new release (due in theaters tomorrow) "That's What I am" is trending with a 71 percent Fresh from rottentomatoes.com and just received a nine out of 10 from craveonline.com.
Now Vince McMahon shouldn't be scheduling any plans around next year's Academy Awards or anything but it's good to see a WWE Studios film receive some praise. Especially since not a single one of their previous films have even come close to a "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
The Ed Harris led film is giving hope to WWE Studios that they can make more than just wrestler led action films and shows that they are a true studio when they allow a seasoned actor to take the lead role instead of one of their many superstars.
Listed below is the film synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, "That's What I Am" is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of... Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, "That's What I Am" is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical school project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and ears too big for his head, "Big G" has been the object of ridicule since grade school. Before long, Andy will learn that there was truly a method behind Mr. Simon's madness as to why he teamed these two up. After a dramatic incident in the schoolyard, teachers and parents rethink their roles in school and society. Principal Kelner (Amy Madigan) suspends a school bully for brutally beating up a female classmate. The vindictive father of the bully makes Mr. Simon the target of a malicious rumor about his sexuality, causing Mr. Simon to question his calling as an educator and mentor to his students. When Andy watches "Big G" fearlessly confront the school bully about the incident, a series of events are triggered. Much to Andy's surprise, he learns that "Big G" is a brilliant, kind, tolerant human being, who has more dignity than anyone Andy has ever encountered. Big G personifies Mr. Simon's four word answer on how to obtain world peace: HUMAN DIGNITY + COMPASSION = PEACE.
I will admit the commercials that aired during RAW and Smackdown intrigued me but I didn't give the film much thought. However, after reading the reviews for it if it's playing in my area this weekend I think I'll check it out.
I hope the good buzz for this film continues and WWE Studios can attract even more veteran actors and better writers and directors.
Expanding their studio brand can only help their mainstay of sports entertainment.