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Review: ‘Like Son’ Brings Thrills To Louisiana

Review: ‘Like Son’ Brings Thrills To Louisiana

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John Schneider shows off his directorial skills in “Like Son”

There have been many crime thrillers throughout history. Some come in book form, others come through television, and the rest come in film format, where they are usually remembered the most. The key components to any crime thriller are a good script and an excellent twist. Well, I’m happy to say John Schneider’s “Like Son” has both, as well as an excellent setting with beautiful locations. The characters lead you through these quintessential Louisiana locations, making you question and wonder about what’s true and what’s false the entire way. This state of ignorance is a character trait for all audience members, until the climax of story, when the truth is revealed and the audience gets to experience some pretty awesome storytelling and filmmaking.

Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 3

The locations and cinematography are beautiful.

The locations and cinematography are beautiful.

The cinematography resonated with my heart throughout the film. From the gorgeous opening establishing shots all the way to the film’s resolution, you can tell that each shot was carefully chosen and incorporated intelligent composition. If you’re a film buff, like me, and like the technical aspects of a film as well as the storytelling aspects, then “Like Son” will hit you left and right with excellent jab after excellent jab, including appropriate use of fish-eye lenses and different kinds of cameras. While this isn’t his first endeavor in the directing world, John Schneider has proven he’s a talent on-camera and off with “Like Son,” and he’s also proven he’s pretty good with a little program called Final Draft.

"Adding a notch to your belt" is a very nice touch.

“Adding a notch to your belt” is a very nice touch.

Schneider wrote the screenplay for “Like Son,” and it’s one of my favorite parts about the film. With snappy dialogue, interesting characters, and a heck of a plot for a thriller, the script will keep you oblivious and enticed until the film’s excellent climax. I won’t spoil anything about the story for you, but I do want to express my admiration for the “adding a notch to your belt” angle throughout the film. It was a nice flaw to include with a character and their internal journey. There are other great aspects of the film, as well. The music is wonderful and helps captivate the audience and soak them into the universe. The editing is crisp, and I didn’t spot any kind of continuity mistakes, which I sadly see frequently in the big blockbusters from Hollywood. But there were certain particulars that peeled away the immersion factor and took me out of my movie-watching element. One of these particulars was how some of the actors delivered their dialogue.

Some scenes are rough because of poor dialogue delivery.

Some scenes are rough because of poor dialogue delivery.

While the script and dialogue are great, the final component, the actor, is the most important when it comes to a character’s speech in a film. Even if the dialogue is absolutely dreadful, an actor can make it sound perfect if it’s delivered just right. And on the reverse side, if the dialogue is great but the actor delivers it with a bland demeanor, then the entire scene falls flat. At times, “Like Son” is a victim of the latter situation. Scenes that should be dripping with conspiracy and tension come off as superficial and unnecessary because it sounds like actors saying dialogue instead of characters speaking to each other. This doesn’t occur throughout the entire film, but t’s evident at times, especially during some scenes of important conversation. On top of that, there were some sound issues, as well. At times, the ambient sound would overtake the characters’ conversation, so key information was being lost to the sounds of the highway or the sounds of the night. This happened infrequently, but it’s occurrence still made me rewind a few times in order to catch exactly what was going on.

Entertainment Value – 3

I enjoyed it!

I enjoyed it!

I actually did an interview with John Schneider a week before the premiere of “Like Son,” so it was fantastic to see the final product of everything we talked about, especially while watching it on CineFlix D.O.D. Regardless of meeting the man who wrote and directed the film, I enjoyed the heck out of the experience. I don’t believe I could ever write an intriguing and entertaining crime thriller. I might try it one day, but I already know how it’s going to turn out. So, watching a good thriller is always a rewarding experience for me, and that’s exactly how I felt after watching “Like Son.” It has betrayal, dishonesty, adultery, violence, mystery, drama, and great amounts of tension. Put all that together in a pot, and you’ve got a movie that’s perfect to sit down and watch with a bowl of popcorn.

A film’s title is very important. Some are just the name of the location of where the story takes place, while others have deeper and more emotional meaning to them. “Like Son’s” title is perfect for the story, and especially for the twist that hits you during the film’s resolution instead of the climax. It’s always a wonderful feeling when a movie makes you think of the title and say, “I get it! It makes sense!” John Schneider did so with his excellent script and his skills with the wonderful world of filmmaking. This film isn’t for the whole family, so make sure the kids are in bed before checking this one out.

Re-Watchability – 3

I’d re-watch this film at some point. I’m not bouncing my leg with extreme anticipation to watch it again so soon, but I’m also not here on FilmFad burying it into the ground. I’ll check it out again one day, most likely to study the script and understand how the story was weaved into a good thriller.

  • Cinematics
  • Entertainment Value
  • Rewatchability

Summary

There have been many crime thrillers throughout history. Some come in book form, others come through television, and the rest come in film format, where they are usually remembered the most. The key components to any crime thriller are a good script and an excellent twist. Well, I'm happy to say John Schneider's "Like Son" has both, as well as an excellent setting with beautiful locations. The characters lead you through these quintessential Louisiana locations, making you question and wonder about what's true and what's false the entire way. This state of ignorance is a character trait for all audience members, until the climax of story, when the truth is revealed and the audience gets to experience some pretty awesome storytelling and filmmaking.

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About The Author

Matt

Seeing "Stand By Me" at the age of 6 solidified Matt's ambition to be a part of the entertainment industry. After growing up in Northern Virginia, studying film at Old Dominion University and rising from intern to Stage Manager at a Dinner Theater, Matt found himself at a speed bump in his life and wanting to express himself in more of a substantial way than calling a cue or flying a line every night. This need for creative expression pushed him to take on the challenge of getting a Master's Degree, which sent him on a year-long endeavor that seemed to throw obstacles and setbacks from every direction. But now, Matt is a screenwriter with a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a passion for film, video games and professional wrestling, looking to keep the ambitious 6-year-old inside of him alive by entertaining the world through various forms of entertainment.

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