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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Gangster Squad’ vs. ‘L.A. Confidential’: You choose

Those movie fans who have been waiting to see “Zero Dark Thirty,” the Kathryn Bigelow film that involves the hunting down of Osama Bin Laden, should be happy. The film is scheduled to open on Friday all over Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.

But another film is scheduled to open, too. One that has been getting nearly as much ad time. It's called “Gangster Squad.” Based on the book by Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman, an expansion of Lieberman's seven-part newspaper series, the movie tells the story of the vigilante cops who took on L.A. mob figures such as Mickey Cohen.

In other words, the movie — directed by “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer — tells roughly the same story that Curtis Hanson did in his 1997 adaptation of James Ellroy's novel “L.A. Confidential.” The difference, though, is important: While Fleischer's film takes us into the world of the vigilante cops (and, according to the film's trailers, make them look like heroes), Hanson's film centers on the men who took the vigilante (read: crooked) cops down.

Interesting. Two sides of the same story. One, Hanson's, won two of the nine Oscars it was nominated for (Best Supporting Actress for Kim Basinger, Best Adapted Screenplay). It'll be interesting to see how “Gangster Squad” matches up.

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