You are inching into the territory of subjunctive mood in English grammar. You are constructing sentences around hypotheticals.
Subjunctives, while technically a part of English language, have inconsistent usage in most forms of oral and written English. The exceptions might be technical, legal, and format writing.
Here are a few links for further reading:
The short story is that, in these sentences, nothing is actually happening. You are hypothetically suggesting that something happen - and I use 'happen' in subjunctive mode for the same reason.
He recommends you read the book before watching the movie. (No one is reading a book here.)
However, because of the flexibility around subjunctive mood in everyday English usage, the following is not only acceptable, but many native speakers would prefer this over the "technically correct" subjunctive verb:
He recommends you to read the book before you watch the movie. (Technically incorrect, but so widely used that most will not pick on it.)
Gerund use is a different matter all together:
He recommends reading the book before watching the movie.
Here, we totally got rid of the subjunctive clause. Instead, we are recommending a thing. So, a noun or a noun-like phrase (like gerund) can follow recommend:
I recommend a visit to the sport centre.
I recommend visiting the sport centre.