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4.3 out of 5 stars
That's What I Am [Blu-ray]
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 20, 2011
Format: DVD
Andrew Nichol narrates this story about his younger self (Chase Ellison) being a 12 year old student who was is pared with Stanley a.k.a. "Big G" (Alexander Walters) for a school project by his teacher Mr. Simon (Ed Harris) to do a short story on tolerance. Stanley is the school's biggest outcast due to his size including one incident where he was sprayed with a water gun to make it look like he wet his pants & always hung out at a section of the school called "Geek Corner" with the other outcast of the school. Despite Stanley always keep his self-respect, Andrew didn't understand why he let people pick on him while Stanley's best friend Norman (Daniel Yelsky) would always get mad at him for doing things he felt that would just get them picked on more. Along with having to do the assignment with Stanley, Andrew is also dealing with his father who is constantly on his case for not being able to do anything correct by his standards while develops a crush on Mary Clear (Mia Rose Frampton) who had her best friend tell him that she likes him as well. That didn't set well with Mary's last boyfriend in Ricky Brown (Jordan Reynolds) who's the school bully & keeps threatening Andrew to stay away from Mary. While all of this is going on, Mr. Simon is the most popular teacher in the school & even won the California Teacher Of The Year as he's very loved by his students but after an incident involving a student named Jason (Camille Bourgeois) that caused him to get suspended, he started spreading a rumor about Mr. Simon being a homosexual causing Jason's father (played by WWE superstar Randy Orton) to bring allegations against him with Mr. Simon refusing to comment stating that his teaching should stand on it's own.

This was definitely a different type of film that we've gotten from WWE in the past as they put their own superstars in the background (Randy Orton only appeared in for maybe 10 mins. total) & did a family drama that focused on real issues as bullying, tolerance, and acceptance. Ed Harris was top notch like always while all the children performed really well so this is a movie that I would go out of your way to see.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This was just one of those wonderful stories and certainly a "should see" if you have teenagers in school. No big budget or special effects - just a great story with great acting!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This movie was great fo teaching kids that bullying and making up stories is not acceptable in todays world. I used it to teach a group of scouts about what not to do and also what to do when facing a bully
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
Format: DVD
That's What I Am is a tricky movie to rate. My wife didn't like it much, but I did -- and for totally different reasons. Let's talk about different aspects that were good and bad.

The Good:

Story
-----
The story is quite good and, for many people, easily relatable. A boy who is on the verge of being one of the "cool" kids has a choice to make. He can do what is right and end up with the nerds (i.e. those who will succeed) or do what is wrong and be liked by the bad boys and, better yet, the bad girls.

As with many of us, his destiny is written by how he toys around with the sides of good and evil in middle school.

Homosexual Message
------------------
Tons of people will probably have lots to say about the homosexual message in the film. There's no overt gross stuff to show you in either homo- or heterosexual (I think there may be one kiss in the whole film and its heterosexual). But the film deals in part with homophobia as a tool to get across a message: Our public actions determine how we ought to be respected in a public setting. We can find fault with anyone, and it tends to be those with glaring faults who seem to get caught up in listing everyone else's.

If you are pro-homosexual, anti-homosexual or don't care, I think you'll find the message mostly unoffensive and even inspire conversation in your house (as it did ours).

Ed Harris
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He sticks out like a sore thumb. He's such a brilliantly good actor and he gets you caught up in every scene. The directors and writers use him brilliantly to move you with the plot. And he commands such authority that it's easy to see him as the sage teacher he portrays.

The Not-So-Good:

Acting
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Most of the actors in the film are children. And most of it is pretty rough. The lead actors are decent for the most part. But don't expect anything more than you'd find on mid-day Disney.

The Conclusion(s)
-----------------
The movie ends a few too many times in a few too many places. The first time I thought the movie was ending was a full 30 minutes before it did. And then it skipped around a few endind points in the last 5 or 10 minutes. It's quite forgivable though, because they just keep tying off all of the loose ends. And the ending ending (as opposed to the non-ending endings) is quite enjoyable.

Overall:
Honestly, I'd never buy this film even though I liked it. It's probably a one-time-watch film. But I was glad that I did see it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2013
Format: DVD
This is a well written, well acted powerful story about a boy coming of age. I think it's an excellent movie to watch with your pre-teens and teenagers. It is set in 1965 when things were a lot different than today but the message doesn't change. Human Dignity + Compassion = Peace. I watched it and after doing so it took me back to that time in my life and it made me do some soul searching of my own. I asked myself how many times I may have hurt someone's feelings maybe without even realizing it.

Someone mentioned that the teacher Mr. Simon addressed the rumours of his being homosexual by simply quitting. There's so much more than that. He realized that if he didn't quit or deny the allegations it wouldn't just be him he'd be affecting it would be his dear friend the principal who was trying to keep her job as the first female principal and trying to put two boys through college. He took the high road and decided to save her job by leaving his.

I think everyone should watch this film and if I was a teacher I'd actually show it to my class. It carries a powerful message.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 15, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's a feel good movie. A touch of reality. I agree with the other reviewer, the acting was just that, kids acting most of the parts. All in all, it was a wonderful family movie. Taking a stand for others isn't very popular these days. I hope that this movie will entice children and adults to stick up for each other and not allow bullies to do their thing.
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on July 10, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is a terrifi movie for per and teens, great acting and my grandkids watch it over and over and show it to their friends...Wd Harris and his real wife do a great job. A TERRIFIC anti- bullying movie!
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on March 15, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I saw this one night on netflix. I loved it and wanted to own it. Fast delivery thanks. If you love and appreciate classic cars, there are plent along with a lifeskill lesson.
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on February 20, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed this film. Nice story about bullying and what is really important in life. I have to say that the young man playing the Big G did a great job. Ed Harris and Amy Madigan were outstanding as always.
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on February 15, 2014
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Marvelous movie about tollerance of people who are "different." Ed Harris's performance is excellent. Very well written. Be sure to watch the ending credits...they are very funny!
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