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Permanent Midnight [Import]

 R (Restricted)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.83
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Like the book it is named after and based on, Permanent Midnight is a chronicle of downfall. Jerry Stahl, the story goes, showed promise when doing shifts as a porn writer for Hustler and Penthouse, and his promise landed him in the exact center of television's hottest shows of the 1980s. Alas, Stahl also brought with him a gargantuan appetite for drugs, most damagingly heroin. The film begins with Stahl, played by Ben Stiller, working in a fast-food chain on his way back to society from the drug-addled skids and recovery. He's lured away from work, where in a hotel room with Maria Bello (as Kitty) he begins detailing his fall from TV's top (where he wrote for shows like Alf and Moonlighting, among others). Director David Veloz does great work in leading viewers through the episodes in addiction and excess, making the action seem naturally odd. There are priceless shots of Stahl and his coke-smoking buddy on an upper floor of a high-rise smoking and leaping into the windows--which don't break, of course. Stiller does a classy job of staying monochromatically zoomed in on scoring and shooting dope. He's sweaty and freaked out at the right times and grimy and desperate, too. The movie's a sad one, with Stahl's journey taking him through an arranged marriage (which benefited him enormously) to the couple's having a baby to getting busted on a rare occasion alone with the infant. It's a visceral script, replete with lots of intravenous drug use and Stahl/Stiller creating a recurring motif out of shooting the bloody drawback from the syringe onto the ceiling, making a mad little scribble. --Andrew Bartlett

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ...not as good as the book... May 9 2004
Format:DVD
Well, are any movies EVER as good as the book? (Fear and Loathing in LV, maybe....) I had one really, really big problem with the movie: Mr. Chompers. Mr. Chompers is OBVIOUSLY Alf, if you didn't know. And Alf's alter ego has a HORRENDOUS name. Mr. Chompers. Jesus H. Christ. I could think of a million better names. Even the name Larry is better than Mr. Chompers. Or Ralph. I think it would've been really clever to use the name Ralph.
Another thing that really bothered me was the relationship between Kitty and Jerry. In the book, it was just so much better. It was like they were both big loser junkies trying to be big loser non-junkies together. I really hoped that everything would work out between them. But in the movie, I just really couldn't stand their relationship. I just kept thinking, "Jerry/Ben, get rid of her. She's stupid, and she just doesn't unerstand you and your pain. Forget her." Those two things take away 2 stars. So, ha.
I just thought the world of Ben Stiller's acting job. I've always liked Ben Stiller, even though he's been in some really stupid stuff (Envy). I don't really know why, but I want to see every movie he's in because he's just so great. And this movie made me like him even more! He was just SO GOOD. He was so believeable. Oh, if only I could rate his performance alone. He would surely get a perfect rating.
So, in conclusion, see the movie, THEN read the book. Unless you don't like reading, loser. Otherwise, if you read the book first, you'll be disappointed. And if you've already read the book, see the movie because Ben Stiller is terrific.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Horrible Movie April 7 2004
Format:DVD
People that compare movies to the original books are always going to be disappointed. That's no big mystery to anyone who's both read a single book or seen a single movie. Nuff said on that.
The movie is definitly a good one because it is very dark, and very real. Reviewers that bashed this movie are obviously clueless regarding drug use, drug users, and addiction. This movie is definitely disgusting and depressing because of its plausibility, and that's what makes it good. To have the perfect wife (Elizabeth Hurly), the perfect job, and still do anything and everything to get high demonstrates how the need overpowers someone's life. Permanent Midnight is "A Good Horrible Movie".
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5.0 out of 5 stars ben Stiller Serious March 26 2003
Format:DVD
It was wierd seeing Ben Stiller serious but he pulled it off well. i thiught this move was different and truthful to the lives of some in Hollywood. I really enjoyed and i think anyone who wants to see something different should give it a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Movie Sept. 26 2002
Format:DVD
I had wanted to see this for quite sometime after hearing about the book, but I didn't think that Ben Stiller could pull off such a dark roll. I was WAY off base there. Stiller shined as the once great writer Jerry Stahl in this extremely dark depiction of what was his life. The movie overall was quite good and the cast was perfect for this movie. But in the overall, the performance given by Stiller made this movie what it was. Great filmmaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Stiller in an outstanding portrayal. March 2 2002
Format:DVD
I picked this one up recently in the "Indie-Pack" alongside "Pi". I was suprised I hadn't heard anything about it since I usually take interest in Ben Stiller. Talk about the best kept secret! He made my friends and I believe he was actually doing the drugs he was doing. If for some strange reason you can't appreciate Stiller, then here is your cure. He'll take you on a journey in this portrayal of the true events in which writer Jerry Stahl loses his job as a successful television writer, and his beautiful wife and daughter to an obscene habit of heroin. Other notable stars include, Elizabeth Hurley, Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo and Cheryl Ladd. Based on the autobiography of Jerry Stahl also titled, "Permanent Midnight"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pulls no punches. Oct. 2 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Ben Stiller branches out into dramatic territory as Jerry Stahl, a writer who wrote for Alf and Moonlighting, fell into drug addiction. This is no comedy, as it shows Stahl shooting heroin at every oppertunity; at parties, show meetings, in the hospital bathroom during the birth of his baby, etc. Stahl pulls no punches as he shows how his need for drugs came before anything else and how he lost everything before he finally got help. Stiller does a good job of portraying perpetually-sweating, hyper Stahl and shows that he has range beyond doing just comedy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Drug Addict Sept. 20 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Ben Stiller plays a writer who dabbles in drugs and becomes addicted..His writing begins to suffer and he heads into full blown drug addiction...He does drugs(Heroin)anywhere, anytime..He even takes his baby with him to get drugs..His writing begins to suffer and he heads into full blown drug addiction...Using Crack as well..
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow May 21 2001
Format:DVD
i was bit hesitant at first...ben stiller in a heavy role such as this? but i was utterly surprised and amazed. i'm a huge stiller fan to begin with, and my appreciation of his ability to act has grown ten-fold with this flick. the movie itself is disturbing, and will stay hauntingly with you days after you see it. stiller gives one of his bets performances yet, and truly has you feeling as if you're watching this story take place in real time...right before your very eyes. the soundtrack is great too...all in all, a great movie, but please note it is not for the faint at heart. it's a smack movie...lots of shootin up, but then again, it is based on the true life, needle experiences of jerry stahl. great movie....
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