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Permanent Midnight [Import]

 R (Restricted)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.36 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

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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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sad True Story of a Literate Junkie June 6 2000
Format:DVD
Heroin. Opiates. Addiction. Recovery. For those who have faced such challenges, PM is a movie that rings true in almost every aspect. For those whose lives have not been affcted by the ravages of drug addiction, the movie offers a dramatic portrayel of Jerry Stahl, a writer known for his work on the TV show "ALF." Stahl was a writer with, a term often overused, an edge. His words drip with bite, secrete venom in their descriptive prowess, and ultimately combine to bring about the writer's crash into addiction. Stahl moves to LA, where he gets a writing job, makes alot of money, in fact way too much money for a writer with a habit, and falls very rapidly downt he black hole of drug addiction. In the darkness, however, we also see the light of recovery, which is handled in a true to life manner, displaying the sheer difficulty in dealing with the insanity of addiciton. Ben Stiller is excellent, adding dry comic wit to even the most disturbing of scenes. And there is a show stealing performance by Peter Greene, who has been in many movies, including The Mask, Pulp Fiction, and most reently Blue Streak, with Martin Lawrence. Permanent Midnight stands on par with Drugstore Cowboy and The Basketball Diaries in allowing the public an inside view into the harrowing, humerous, and heart wrenching world of heroin. The movie is a loaded syringe, ready to strike into the most virgin of veins: Mainstream Movie America. It is so good, you will come back for it again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Midnight Express March 22 2000
By "isz"
Format:DVD
Hello, My Name is ..., and I have never shot Heroin. I fear the needle (ignore the tattoo) and fail to relish in the sadistic reactions to the drug. However, were I to awaken to a new day of increased favor towards needles and IV drug use, the viewing of this film, and the performance handed to us by Ben Stiller, has already assured me that I shan't dive into the abyss of said narcotic. You hate to use words live "riveting" and "brilliant", although clearly at ease with his psychotic side, Stiller makes me believe that a man would attempt to crash through a window post "drug-induced-euphoria". One wishes Janeane Garofalo had a few more moments on-screen, but what she added was probably enough. I haven't read the book (an oddity for me, actually), but I fear that I shall quite soon. I was drawn into the story from the get-go, though I wonder if that was due to the shooting by Veloz, or by Stiller. Either way, this "dark comedy (from whence that title came, I am still unsure)" darkened my day, and caused a bit of thought to occur - never a bad thing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly compelling portrayal -- fantastic soundtrack April 11 2000
Format:DVD
I thought Stiller gave a credible impression here. Granted it was spotty in a few places, but most of the performance was first rate. I think Stiller has a future in dramatic roles and I am glad that this roll may keep him from being type-cast.
Peter Greene was creepy in a very believable way. Janeane did a fantastic job as the intimacy-challanged agent -- "You're coming back, right?" Maria Bello provided a good depth and range to her character.
The movie has enough subtlety and depth that a second viewing is probably a good idea. I certainly enjoyed it more the second time. Most of the characters were acted with more restraint than we have become accustomed to and this may explain why the movie becomes more enriched with repeated viewings.
But it was the music that put the hook in me. I went out and bought my first Crystal Method and first William Orbit CDs after watching this movie.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Horrible Movie
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. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Fire Dog
5.0 out of 5 stars ben Stiller Serious
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. Read more
Published on March 26 2003 by RdRose256
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Movie
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by Jason Koster
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Stiller in an outstanding portrayal.
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. Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Timm Redmond
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulls no punches.
Ben Stiller branches out into dramatic territory as Jerry Stahl, a writer who wrote for Alf and Moonlighting, fell into drug addiction. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2001 by Anthony Souza
4.0 out of 5 stars Drug Addict
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2001 by "kmartinklover"
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
i was bit hesitant at first...ben stiller in a heavy role such as this? but i was utterly surprised and amazed. Read more
Published on May 21 2001 by Christopher R. Cicatelli
4.0 out of 5 stars The Darker Side of Alf
Ben Stiller ("Reality Bites," "Flirting With Disaster") is mesmerizing as the real-life junkie/writer who was actually hired to pen the TV show "Alf. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2000 by Jason Vance
4.0 out of 5 stars gret movie
I can't believe this movie has been given so many bad reviews!Ilove it! Ben Stiller gives the best performence of his career in this true story of TV writer jerry stahl's life... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2000 by Steven White
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