The Ten Movies I Turn To (When In A Mood) [Linwood’s Picks]

Much like music, I find that cinema can be a therapeutic form of entertainment and escapism. The beauty of owning a monumental DVD Movie collection is that there are no tedious commercial breaks or [unrelated] advertisements during streaming, so my mind is completely in-tune with what’s transpiring on-screen. These are my Top Ten choices that I love watching on my own for the purpose of experiencing a “high” or a significant other when I want her to know more about myself through tastes that I consider intimate after explaining why I find them important pieces of my identity.

Please note that this list is not to be confused as a companion piece to an upcoming ‘Black Grindhouse’ episode titled “The Cinema of My Life” in season two, where myself and guests will be choosing films that represent who we are as individuals. Our collective picks will be based on select questions that cover different facets of personality and will not exclude animation as an artistic medium in the discussion.


“With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.”

Of course, as an unapologetically Black man, I am biased, but this is my favorite Western movie of all time and I’ve seen it more than I care to remember. It’s empowering, excessively violent, hilarious, and heavily layered.


“Jason, a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs. They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, he trains with Bruce Lee’s ghost so he can defend himself and others against thugs.”

I’m a fan of well-choreographed martial arts movies, a follower of Bruce Lee, and a lover of underdog tales, so this is a perfect film to lose myself to.

8. OLDBOY (2005)

“After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.”

My favorite novel growing up was Alexandre Dumas’ ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, and this film is pretty much a twisted Korean adaptation of a manga influenced by it. The fact that the protagonist learns how to fight from watching boxing on television and mimicking the moves is also relatable. (Who hasn’t done that?)


“Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.”

I cherish this picture because it was an exceptional “Date Night”/Meet the Family” movie that I had seen in theaters when I was a teenager. (What’s funny is that I hadn’t seen the previous and the only reason we saw ‘The Raid 2’, is because another choice wasn’t showing.) It forever impacted the way that I looked at hand-to-hand combat in action films.


“When his father’s body is stolen from its grave, Afro takes up his sword again to tear through an army of deadly foes led by a sadistic leader.”

The animation is visually stunning, the samurai action is extremely bloody, the voice acting is star-studded, and the soundtrack actually stands on its own. I typically watch the mini-series first and then this film right after. It’s a shame that there hasn’t been a follow-up, however, one is not really needed.


“James Bond willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.”

When someone asks me if I had any fictional characters as role models on screen, the first name that I usually mention is “James Bond”. Specifically, Sean Connery’s portrayal of the spy. ‘From Russia with Love’ is my top entry of the 007 franchise because it captures everything I love about him.


“After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.”

I can’t do anything without my iPod, Bluetooth earbuds, and a dope playlist, so I love how the protagonist of this feature “relies” on it to function during hectic moments. I also enjoy a good romantic subplot, car chase, and shootouts, so ‘Baby Driver’ always puts me in a great mood when it’s on.


“The Joker is back with a vengeance, and Gotham’s newest Dark Knight needs answers as he stands alone to face Gotham’s most infamous Clown Prince of Crime.”

‘BB: ROTJ’ is one of the darkest superhero movies that I’ve seen because of its bleak tone, grim atmosphere, haunting themes, and mature writing. It’s also one of the handfuls of films that I saw repeatedly in the backseat of a car during family trips as a child. The fact that it still holds up to my standards today is marvelous and an example of why my expectations are so high when it comes to storytelling in cartoons that aimed towards a young audience.


A glowing green orb – which embodies ultimate evil – terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism, and horror.”

I truly get lost in this animated anthology film from 1981 and watching every minute of it never gets old as a writer of a fictional universe that’s reliant on science-fiction. I honestly can say that if it wasn’t for ‘Heavy Metal’, there might not be a GameCargo.


“Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.”

I’m a sucker for anything that involves time travel. One of my favorite books during my youth was ‘Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time’ and I still like to skim through it, from time to time. The fabulous ‘Back To The Future’ trilogy explores a few concepts that I’ve discussed and I have the tendency of marathoning all three movies after watching the first. I just can’t help it.
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