The wacky comedy “Queenpins” is, oddly enough, based on a bizarre true story. Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste star as a couple of Phoenix women who made tens of millions of dollars by counterfeiting manufacturers’ coupons and selling them online. The filmmakers turn the story into an offbeat farce that pokes fun at the inept authorities charged with tracking them down. The cast is fun, but Paul Walter Hauser steals the movie as a self-absorbed loss prevention officer for a grocery store chain. “Queenpins” may be ethically indifferent, but it’s an entertaining lark.
The Netflix thriller “Kate,” on the other hand, is a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Mary Elizabeth Winstead takes the title role in this excessively bloody action flick about a highly skilled assassin who seeks revenge on a man who has poisoned her. Trouble is, Kate only as a few hours to live to exact vengeance. The body count is high, and the believability is low. “Kate” manages to waste the talents of Winstead and Woody Harrelson, who plays her mentor. The only thing the movie has going for it is the interesting Osaka, Japan setting. Coincidentally, the current thriller “The Protégé” covers much of the same territory as “Kate,” but is a much better action option.
The batty world of high-end art gets the face palm treatment in the sharp and enlightening documentary, “The Lost Leonardo.” It deals with the iffy provenance of the famous Da Vinci painting “Salvator Mundi” which brought the highest auction price for any painting in history, $450 million. But the film is really about greed, personal biases, and international financial intrigue. “The Lost Leonardo” is an eye-opening investigative exposé.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, and fineartsgroup.com.