Motion pictures are the second best story telling tools after books. Second because if movies were really that effective, formal education would be conducted from a couch in front of a television. In fact, I think movies are books for the chronically uncreative mind that requires to be stimulated visually to be fully engaged. In truth movie watching culture should be frowned upon because it really is slowly leading to the demise of a reading culture. Only thing that my generation reads are texts and memes. Be that as it may, there are movies that you should watch before you die. These are epic stories, chiefly from Hollywood, pictures that have changed my perspective on life by rattling me at the very core of my being. Walk with me.
Alpacino is a genius; Period. If the director had cast any other guy for the lead role in this movie, I would probably not be listing it here. Alpacino is a cool guy, so cool in fact he seems like the guy who can crush your throat; with his balls and then gets to second base with your woman and you shall forgive him. Well, maybe he is not, but in this movie the arc of his life is very well thought out and the way he goes out in the proverbial blaze of glory brings tears to my eyes each time I watch this movie- All the three hundred and forty-five times that I have watched it.
- Pulp fiction
The expendables movies are awesome, but they are strangely juvenile in their approach in the same way that a porn film would have a tacky storyline. If you read the list of cast members of this picture before you saw it, you would be mistaken for thinking that it is the classic macho bullshit that my wife and typically all women hate. But it is not. Watching this movie is like losing your virginity; it stays with you because that is how Quentin Tarantino works. He consolidates talent and wrings it dry in this movie, spare three hours of your life for this one.
Shot in 1942 and starring one Humphrey Bogart, finding a decent copy of this movie is a mammoth task in itself. However, once you do, you shall not be rewarded accordingly. A word of caution though, this movie is best watched with a person with whom you are at liberty to have intercourse with. Sex and this movie go together, I don’t know- like guns and ammunition. It is very romantic without being too fruity or direct about it. So then, this is not a movie to be enjoyed with your nuclear family members, unless of course incest is not frowned upon in your locale.
- Cat on a hot tin roof
This movie like many of its day was adapted from a play that was a show popular on Broadway. The lead actors; Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman are so aesthetically pleasing together that if you are vindictive like me, you secretly draw pleasure from their dysfunctional marriage. They are a spitting image of present day couples and that is what makes this movie timeless. Au contraire you will sympathize with the bourgeoisie and their rich people problems despite your vindictiveness.
- The counsellor
A guy I once knew said this movie was like a poet’s dream; and indeed it is. You shall remain glued to your seat and experience a barrage of emotions as the story unfolds yet even after watching it you cannot tell what the movie was about. In my case the opening scene with Michael Fassbender and Penelope Cruz in bed makes my day. I could watch that scene every day of my life before I leave the house for inspiration and that well would never run dry. This is a movie best watched with an alcoholic beverage at hand for full effect.
- An officer and a gentleman
When I was younger, my parents used to make big fuss of this movie. The VCR cassette it was stored in was safely stashed away and we were under strict instruction to never watch the movie. That is why I watched it anyway when I was ten after my sisters went to have their hair done at mama Rhoda’s one Saturday afternoon. This is a movie for the lazy Saturday afternoon that is the best conclusion I can draw eighteen years later. I have no idea why my parents loved this movie that much but I would encourage anyone to watch it all the same.
- The Way Back
This is a tale about human resilience, a true tale of those rare types of people who have the mental tenacity to find just about any excuse to survive the worst conditions possible. The movie is about a polish man who walks 4000 miles after escaping a Serbian POW camp to stick it to his wife who had sold him out in the first place. This is like The Count of Monte Cristo rewritten; only this time it is a true story.
- The Wolf of Wall street
A lot of truth is said in jest. This is because the truth is either one of two things; horrible or boring. Despite the fictional nature of the story, this movie explores the infallibility of the rich and the depths of depravity that the human animal sinks to in search of the Dollar. However, it is wonderfully told with the tactful help of Leonardo Di Caprio as the lead star. I have borrowed life lessons from this masterpiece that I would never otherwise have acquired from a crappy self-help book.
- Nairobi Half Life
Kenya does not produce that many movies relative to our illustrious Nigerian counterparts. But then they do, wonderful stories are brought to life. I watched the director to this movie come clean about how much of a financial flop the movie turned out to be and it almost brought me to tears. It made a miserly USD200 on its week of release. That notwithstanding, it is an incredibly entertaining and entirely plausible story that any well-seasoned Kenyan movie enthusiast would applaud.
- The Shaw shank Redemption
Allow me to say something politically incorrect. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman would make an amiable gay couple. The amount of bromance in this movie is nauseating, but that does little to change the fact that it is awesome. The only two women in this movie are on flashbacks and a movie poster. Yet these two women play a pivotal role in the movie, both Tim Robbins wife and the belle on a poster. This is a fairy tale really but I have never grown weary of watching it. You would too if you masquerade as a cynic but you are a sucker for love happy endings.