Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

On one hand you have to admire C. Thomas Howell who despite the fact he is, at best, marginally talented, the man has managed a career that has spawned practically three decades and in the last two years alone has appeared in no less than 22 movies. 22! To put this in it’s proper perspective, Steven Seagal who I consider the KING of Straight to DVD movies has only made ten movies in the past two years and Armand Assante who is a personal favorite of mine and the dude who I thought trumped all with his lack of discrimination when it comes to taking roles has been in only 21 titles in the last two years. All hail C. Thomas Howell. Throw in a brief marriage to Rae Dawn Chong, which had to be one hell of a six or seven month thrill ride and like we said, there’s a lot to admire about one C. Thomas Howell. Our admiration unfortunately has to stop there because we actually watch a lot of these movies. ‘The DaVinci Treasure’ in particular, arguably the worst movie ever made, caused to me question the very existence of life on the planet earth. Of course this pain of mine is self inflicted since no one is forcing me to watch these crappy movies, but watch I do. Today we watched the ‘Soul Man’, a movie that in my opinion was somewhat unfairly criticized, in a flick from 2003 titled ‘Net G@mes’. Check out the swirly ‘a’ which makes it look all technical and stuff. Yes, ‘Net G@mes’ sucked plenty ass, but it was also one of the funnier films I’ve seen.

In this flick C-Tom assumes the role of Adam Vance, a hard working ad man, because people in movies have no other kind of job, who just wants to have sex with his hot wife Jennifer (Monique Demers). Problem is that Jennifer was raped a few months back and has been understandably stingy with the poo ever since. At least it’s understandable to me but Adam just wants to get laid – rape be damned. Since that’s not happening Adam’s best friend Ray (Samuel Ball) has hooked Adam up to this sex chat line with the theory being that it can replace sex. Uh…. Okay. And looking at pictures of food can replace eating. Anyway, Adam gets online and starts chatting with some chick named Angel and that’s pretty much all she wrote for the normalcy in Adam’s life.

With Adam’s hot wife out of town to face down her imprisoned rapist to hopefully restore her ability to screw again, Adam sits in front of his computer jerking off to this woman’s typing. Eventually the Fatal Attraction kicks in as this woman has incriminating photos of Adam jerking off in front of his computer, which one has to seriously question how she attained those since she’s at home jerking off in front of her computers as well. She also has some rather scandalous photos of Adam necking with his bosses wife as we have an extremely rare Counselor Troi sighting. To cut to the chase, people start dying at a rapid rate as the crazed Angel (Lala Sloatman) has taken charge of the situation turning Adam into a total bitch-ass sissy. Good thing his wife and her newly regained sexuality have returned to save the day.

So there’s this magical scene in this movie where the hot wife, while pretending to be some dude online, has setup a meeting with the crazed lunatic killing murderer. She puts on a hat and a tie and is heading out the door to confront this crazed killer when her husband, who knows firsthand how crazy this killer is, asks her ‘where are you going?’ The hot wife informs him of her intentions to which the husband responds, ‘Well, I’m going with you’. The hot wife tells the bitch-sissy of a husband that she has to do this alone to which the husband replies with ‘Well… you be careful now’. That right there is magical comedy people. Though there are some inspired unintentional comic moments in this movie, it really can’t save ‘Net G@mes’ from being summarily abysmal. Writer Director Andrew Slee started out his film as a virtual ‘Basic Instinct’ rip-off and if he had continued with the nudity and the sex that the opening scene had, the movie probably wouldn’t have been much better but it would have been more watchable. By the time C-Tom gets on the computer, the challenge for Slee is how can he make two people typing at each other for the next forty minutes seem interesting. He couldn’t do it. If you’re going to make a cheap sleazy exploitation movie, then man you gotta make it cheap, sleazy and exploitative. Since it wasn’t quite sleazy enough we’re left with the bad dialog, questionable acting, Monique Demers being stunt titted for, unrealistic characters, unrealistic plot points, a hero who gets his ass kicked by a 100 pound woman and people typing at each other for a long time.

Despite a few glorified cameos by Ed Begley Jr., who was obviously doing somebody a favor, Lochlyn Munro who has racked up a number of titles even outdistancing C-Tom in the last two years and Joan Van Ark who, along with Ted Shackleford will always have a special place in our hearts because we sure did love us some ‘Knots Landing’ back in the day, there’s no real reason for you to suffer through this as ‘Net G@mes’ lacks the sleaze, sizzle, panache to even be called an Cinemax worthy erotic thriller.

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