NASA has set up a satellite dish in a tiny Australian town to televise the first moon landing in 1969. At the site, something has gone wrong and there is little time to find and correct the problem. — Genre: Feature Film-Dr... more »ama
Alycia B. from N CHARLESTON, SC Reviewed on 2/27/2013...
Great intellectual comedy and a wonderful story, most of which is true! They do a great job of bringing the audience into the excitement of the time. To see some comparisons between the movie and reality, check out: http://outreach.atnf.csiro.au/visiting/parkes/looselybased.html
Charming Aussie comedy
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 10/13/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"***1/2 ... I finally broke down and rented "The Dish," a true story about the small group of men working at a satellite dish in a remote section of Australia who, in July 1969, played a major part in helping to transmit the first live images of a man walking on the moon.I'm happy to report that "The Dish" turns out to be a world-class charmer, a delightful film that captures the high-spirited innocence and optimism of the space race era and vividly recreates a time when people from all over the world could do little but stare in spellbound amazement at the achievements of which mankind proved itself capable - and feel the mutual pride and camaraderie that such events occasioned. The makers of "The Dish" dramatize this feeling of universal connectedness by showing how even the most remote, seemingly "insignificant" people could be made to feel a part of an event happening half a world away and commanding the attention of most of the planet's inhabitants. Here near the small town of Parkes, Australia, nestled in what is little more than a sheep pasture, looms the 1,000-ton satellite dish that will serve as the eye of the world for this event of monumental historic importance. The makers of the film have chosen to take a charming, low-key approach to the material, focusing on the likable, decidedly offbeat people who make up both the team at the dish as well as the citizenry of the nearby town. With the subtle quirkiness common to most Australian comedies, "The Dish" displays a real affection for its characters, showing them as flawed human beings who, nevertheless, learn to accept and cope with the differences that might otherwise separate them. Thus, even the simmering conflict between the American hotshot from NASA assigned to the dish and one of the more sensitive Aussie specialists plays itself out in a believable and touching way. Other characters defy the stereotypes that less gifted filmmakers might have enforced upon them. The mayor of the town, for instance, rather than being a self-congratulatory blowhard (as we fear he will become in the early parts of the film) turns out to be a sweet, gentle, family-loving man who is as overwhelmed by the world's spotlight being shone on his community as are the common folk who make up his constituents. Lending his star quality to the proceedings, Sam Neil gives a beautifully understated performance as Cliff Buxton, a recently widowed technician at the dish who manages to take all this hubbub in stride but who conveys, in gentle ways, the sheer awesomeness of the event in which he finds himself taking part. In fact, it is this sense of ordinary people suddenly finding themselves a part of history that makes "The Dish" more than simply a clever, likable comedy. We find ourselves genuinely touched and moved by much of what we see on screen. Perhaps, after the tragedy of the World Trade Center attacks - during which people all over the world sat riveted in morbid fascination to their television sets watching that horrifying event unfold - the film attains an added poignancy. It reminds us a bit of our lost innocence as we see the people in this film staring spellbound at their television sets 32 years earlier for a far different purpose - to witness, as a united, worldwide community, the GOOD things mankind can do when he puts his mind to it rather than the evil. By dealing so warmly and gently with the people who make up this little corner of the world, "The Dish" lifts the spirits and renews the faith. ..."
An excellent movie from down under
William D. Salisbury | Xenia, OH United States | 04/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had a chance to see this movie when I was in Australia over Christmas and would highly recommend it to anybody who likes well-crafted movies. The Dish is fact-based account of the events surrounding Neil Armstrong's historic moonwalk from the perspective of the scientists at the Parkes Radio Telescope (used to relay much of the first moonwalk to the rest of the Earth) and the town of Parkes itself. While some dramatic license was taken with the truth, the movie tells a lovely story that is at once touching, funny, quirky (in a good way) and suspenseful. Although US audiences will likely only recognize Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton, first-rate performances appear throughout the movie. It is apparently being marketed in the US as a comedy, but I don't know if that's an accurate portrayal; the characters were kind of quirky but they also had multiple dimensions, unlike a lot of US comedies - the movie could be seen as a drama as well (the movie poster at the theater in Sydney was much more understated than the US version - I personally think that the promotion in the US doesn't do the film justice). The soundtrack is first rate as well. I was told by a couple of Aussies that those who like "The Castle" (another movie by Rob Sitch) will definitely like "The Dish". In short, I paid to see the movie in a theater twice in Oz, and recommend it highly. At any rate, I'll definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out."
Charming & funny historic film, strongly recommended for all
William D. Salisbury | 05/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The television signal from the moonwalk was not carried to earth by carrier pigeon, it was beamed through a big dish in the middle of Australian sheep country.The story of the Australian involvement in the moonwalk is told in a uniquely quirky and funny manner that only Rob Sitch and the rest of the ex-DGen team could do. With a budget bigger than that of their first feature film, The Castle, the resources where there for the production team's creative dreams to be fulfilled. The product is a well-crafted and clever piece of cinematography. Australian viewers will enjoy local acting talent in Tom Long, Kevin Harrington and even ex-Neighbour Eliza Szonert, while others will enjoy the entertaining real-life based storyline and intelligent, genuinely funny humour.The movie evokes nostalgic reminscing amongst those who were glued to their TV sets that day in 1969 (largely through a awesome movie soundtrack). Those, like myself, who weren't around at the time of the moonwalk will enjoy the somewhat abstract history lesson.The Dish is a fantasic, light-hearted yet thoughtful film. I strong recommend it to all."
Charlotte Vale-Allen | CT USA | 08/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I managed to fall asleep on a friend's sofa and missed the moon landing, so I found this film not only gently entertaining but also oddly rewarding. The build-up to the Apollo 11's successful mission, as delivered by this script, is warmly personalized and made remarkably new. This is accomplished by some fine ensemble acting intercut with stock footage from around the world that is almost seamlessly blended into the narrative. Instead of looking very out of place, as most stock footage does, in this case the era is so nicely established by the costumes, the characters, the settings and especially the soundtrack, scenes shot back in July of 1969 seem very timely and appropriate. It's a credit to director Sitch that there's nothing maudlin about the film; it's low-key and sweetly amusing and yet surprisingly gripping. And it's particularly gratifying to see Sam Neill turn in an effectively low-key performance, after appearances in some pretty ghastly American films.
A Yank who loves "The Dish"
William D. Salisbury | 05/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just returned from a vacation in Australia, and the hardest thing about leaving was knowing this movie wasn't available on DVD for the US market yet. I saw this twice while I was there."The Dish" is a heartwarming story about a small Aussie town's moment of glory. Their radio telescope, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere yet curiously placed in this rural location in the middle of a sheep ranch, becomes the prime communications receiver for Apollo 11 while the moon is on their side of the world.Americans will certainly recognize Sam Neill, playing someone with an accent closer to his own, and Patrick Warburton. But I'm not trying to downplay the great performances of the actors currently only known down under.The movie has some great laughs and great characters. Anyone with half a mind for technical things and a little sense of humor should love this movie. If you have ever consoled yourself in an at-work disaster by telling yourself "hey, this isn't rocket science", you'll appreciate the scope staff's reaction to some "technical difficulties" encountered while trying to keep Apollo 11's radio transmissions going. In order to save the plot details for the viewing, I'll have to suffice it to say that the Aussies were a little too proud to say "Houston, we have a problem." But no worries, it all worked out in the end.Americans may have some trouble understanding the Aussie accents and slang, but that's what the captions are for, right?The sound track is full of great sixties tunes. The movie also brings back great memories to those old enough to remember where they were when the Apollo astronauts first walked on the moon."