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The Truth Behind the Real-Life 'Gangster Squad'

Warner Bros.

Think for a few seconds, if you will, about your grandparents. Chances are you have some memories from when you were a child, perhaps of your grandfather bouncing you on his knee or your grandmother baking you a pie. Good memories. Now imagine for a moment that someone in Hollywood has decided to make a balls-out action movie with your beloved grandparent at the center of it, guns blazing.

That would be totally bizarre, right? Well, now you have an idea how the granddaughter of real life "Gangster Squad" leader John O'Mara is feeling right now — and she's decided to share those feelings in a brand new blog.

Titled "A Silver Screen Version of an 85mm Life," the new post from blogger sierramargaret details how her family was interviewed about the life of her grandfather and how those interviews were then incorporated into a series of articles for the Los Angeles Times called "L.A. Noire: Tales From the Gangster Squad." That, in turn, was made into the motion picture "Gangster Squad," which is now playing in theaters — and which stars Josh Brolin front and center as team leader O'Mara.

Needless to say, the whole thing has left sierramargaret with decidedly mixed feelings.

"This whole situation is weird, it’s so unreal and bigger than I can comprehend," she wrote. "All I can describe it as is that I imagine this is how people feel who have a famous best friend. Suddenly something you love and treasure is being written about in glossy magazines and advertised in the cinema. There isn’t a way to explain how it feels to see something so personal plastered on posters all over New York City. That the strikingly handsome man on the billboard next to Ryan Gosling is portraying the man who raised your mother. That he’s the man you remember eating ice cream with at the retirement home."

So how does she feel about the film's over-the-top action sequences? Considering the real John O'Mara used smarts more than brawn to take down mobster Mickey Cohen (played by Sean Penn in the film), sierramargaret simply wants fans to take everything with a grain of salt.

"You probably figured that the movie was Hollywood-tized, but I feel like it’s my duty to confirm that fact. The characters are real, yes, the situation is real, yes, but the violence in the movie is outlandish and bears no accuracy to the reality of the Gangster Squad’s actions. My mom likes to say 'they didn’t use bullets. They used their brains.' Yet violence sells more than cleverness, so unsurprisingly violence won," she said. "All I ask is to keep that in the back of your mind: the real Jack O’Mara fired his gun once. And only once."

Aren't grandparents the best?

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