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Mother (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Bong Joon-Ho's directorial follow-up to The Host, his fantastic monster-movie hit, is a breathtaking departure and a modern-day Hitchcockian masterpiece. Mother goes places in a mystery that most American films would never dare. I haven't seen anything quite like this in a while: a whodunit that actually keeps you guessing until the shocking truth is revealed. The stirring Kim Hye-Ja plays the mother, a middle-aged woman who smothers her son, an adult man with a developmental disability who always manages to end up in trouble. When he's accused of the murder of a schoolgirl, his mother must go to great lengths to learn the truth about her son and the killing, with unexpected results. One of the best films to be released on home video this year, Mother is a no-questions-asked must-buy. Louis Fowler

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Sweetgrass (NR)

Cinema Guild

Never mind those cutesy backyard hobbyists — the "rancher" label is one that is earned through backbreaking labor, selfless devotion and all-around badassedness. Likewise, the shepherds who populate this meditative look at a Montana herd drive, toward the summer grass of the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains, are the real deal. In this no-frills documentary from filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (who work at Harvard University by day), a few sheep ranchers, along with a couple of dogs and horses, tame about 3,000 sheep, countless hills and valleys, bears, fatigue and "ornery" livestock they've helped give birth to and feed. The first hour of the film, featuring precious little but the sound of bleating, is a tough one, but it pays off immeasurably once the big, sweeping picture comes into full view. Justin Strout

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White Collar: The Complete First Season (NR) (Blu-Ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The USA Network's White Collar is another of those ultra-quirky, made-for-basic-cable detective series — think Psych or Monk. Per the requirements, it's a lighthearted take on the genre, featuring a mismatched duo that solves crimes and such. In this case, the pair is a young, too-good-looking, cocky master art-forger and a stoic-yet-milquetoast FBI agent who together take on white collar crimes. They use unconventional tactics, of course, to nab criminals with a mixture of knowledgeable panache and downright dumb luck. It's predictable and, at times, too dumb for its own good, but boy, is it ever entertaining! My only complaint? I could have done without Saved By the Bell's Tiffani Thiessen as the aforementioned agent's understanding wife. She proves, once again, that she cannot act to save her life. Louis Fowler

Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition (R) (Blu-Ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Released just in time to cash in on the franchise reboot Predators, here's the Blu-Ray edition of the original Schwarzenegger classic Predator, decked out with more special features than you can shake an elongated metal stick (with detachable spear) at! In addition to the seminal movie, you've got a commentary from John McTiernan, making-of documentaries, deleted scenes and outtakes, and special effects features. Everything you'd ever want to know about the original Predator is right here to geek out over. Still, one can't help but be disappointed that Schwarzenegger didn't participate, because a candid commentary from him would have been great — the Sonny Landham anecdotes would be worth the purchase price alone. Maybe they're saving that for a double-dip when Predators 2 comes out and they need a few more tie-in dollars. Louis Fowler

  • Mother, Sweetgrass, White Collar: The Complete First Season

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