Permanent Midnight [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on April 7 2004 by Fire Dog
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 morePublished on March 26 2003 by RdRose256
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 morePublished on Sept. 26 2002 by Jason Koster
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 morePublished on March 2 2002 by Timm Redmond
Ben Stiller branches out into dramatic territory as Jerry Stahl, a writer who wrote for Alf and Moonlighting, fell into drug addiction. Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2001 by Anthony Souza
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 morePublished on Sept. 20 2001
i was bit hesitant at first...ben stiller in a heavy role such as this? but i was utterly surprised and amazed. Read morePublished on May 21 2001 by Christopher R. Cicatelli
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 morePublished on Sept. 3 2000 by Jason Vance