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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 35.97%
Average: 7.19%
Pretty Bad: 5.76%
Total Crap: 4.32%

8 reviews, 91 user ratings

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Dish, The
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by Dust For Eyes

"Small steps in filmmaking of a our greatest leap"
4 stars

The Working Dog team responsible for the surprise success The Castle is back with The Dish. It’s a fair film of the extraordinary story of the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969 and Australia’s role in it. The story telling is only OK, but the amazing events central to the story saves this film from mediocrity.

A reason that the Olympics was such a success is that we Australians were desperate to show that we are world players. We were right in the middle of the world’s stage and we weren’t going to ruin this rare opportunity.

Most of the time we are paranoid about feeling left out in world events and so when anything big happens we are left to finding some sort of vague Australian connection.

One of the world’s biggest events – if not the biggest ever – was the first moon landing in 1969. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and some other guy that no one remembers were on their way to making a giant leap for mankind. Australia had to make some sort of connection to this. And we did in the form of the Parkes radio telescope that was to play a role in communicating with the lunar module. The Dish tells their story of the Parkes radio telescope and the people behind it.

There is nothing special about the way the film was made. As with The Castle it is all very basic shooting and nothing really that spectacular to look at. Director Rob Sitch again has control of the film, but there is nothing in the film that leaves you feeling that he has left his mark on the film. The writing and characters has the distinctive style of the Working Dog team, but as far as filmmaking goes there is nothing special.

As with The Castle a lot of the characters are well meaning yet dumbed down. It might work with one or two characters, but not when it’s most of them. Two of the central characters thankfully are not like this – Sam Neil and Neil Warburton give dignity to their characters. The filmmakers should be praised for not descending Warbuton’s character into yank bashing bait as it so easily could have been.

The film has a couple of sub plots that don’t really go anywhere and you’re left wondering why they’re there in the first place. Sam Neil’s character’s lost wife, and the Mayor’s daughter and her suitor. They don’t really add to the story and have unsatisfying endings.

This all points to only a mediocre film, but the effective way that the sheer excitement and tension of the moon landing itself - and how the people of Parkes got themselves caught up in it - elevates this film to a more than satisfying level. The film mixes original footage and interplays it with the new action. It all blends together well putting the viewer in the middle of the thrill of one of history’s great events.

The Dish is a solid telling of a truly great event. It is in the colossal event of the moon landing and the way that Sitch conveys the feeling of that moment that sets the film as a satisfying experience.

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originally posted: 10/14/00 15:39:33
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User Comments

8/17/12 Ed Great movie about a greater event. Charming, entertaining and down to earth. 5 stars
5/27/11 yanks4oz Spot on, Matt! (Dec07) - appears reviewer too young to realize just how GIANT the Leap was! 5 stars
11/23/09 madie BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
10/29/08 Jeremy I loved the soundtrack. 4 stars
10/01/08 Annie G It would have been predictable to poke fun at these people but this film does not. 4 stars
9/20/08 Lottie Holmes Wonderful movie! Loved the telescope and story line. Don't miss this one! 5 stars
3/21/08 frances sawyer rarely a factual movie presented so entertainly 5 stars
12/04/07 Matt Charming, witty and fun - with a groovy soundtrack. A rare gem. 5 stars
8/11/07 D.Earnest watched on a whim & was astonished & delighted 5 stars
2/04/07 Warren Absolutley the best movie. Authentic and very funny 5 stars
11/05/06 K3LL!3 this movie put me to sleep, i had to watch it for a skool assignment. i would rather fail 1 stars
10/23/06 Random great. That's all 5 stars
5/07/06 chienne Loved it, soundtrack, 60's feel & genuinely hilarious moments 5 stars
12/31/05 Peter Harding Fantastic movie 5 stars
10/26/05 cdgffg great 5 stars
10/11/05 brenton morely it sucks 1 stars
12/12/04 Evan Good "tribute" flick 4 stars
5/13/04 combie great, not just funny but educational,never new australia was involved 5 stars
3/17/04 Jaimi I think it is an inspirational movie 4 stars
2/26/04 sprout fun to watch 4 stars
1/07/04 Amba Very good, enjoyable to watch 5 stars
10/22/03 Stephen Hon This review is really disappointing. U contradict urself. I've seen betta. 5 stars
10/20/03 Samuel Sungkook Lee An Inspiring, heartwarming film with a plethora of cleverly thought out comedy. Excellent! 5 stars
1/18/03 chilly a great film and a great soundtrack, watch this film now its great! 5 stars
8/07/02 Kate Superbly acted 5 stars
4/03/02 A.Mcob You can only understand it if you are australian 4 stars
3/18/02 SJKelley A real treat. A confident piece of moviemaking with good performances. 4 stars
10/04/01 George Partington Sweet, lovingly rendered evocation of a period (late 60s) and an event. Full of warmth. 5 stars
9/07/01 darrin perrone heart warming,comedy/drama a movie with heart 5 stars
9/06/01 Monday Morning Very very good. Would recommend to any audience. 4 stars
9/05/01 Warren Burgess The audience actually clapped at the end - is this MN? 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary Very funny and refreshingly low-key and warming, without being sickly and sentimental. 4 stars
8/20/01 rudy great movie! sam neill is a great actor. 5 stars
6/19/01 Mike Larson It was breathtaking 5 stars
5/31/01 Peanut and Banana sandwich Warm and cosy comedy - good flick. 4 stars
5/29/01 Andy Meakin Smart, witty, fun...go see it now. 5 stars
5/26/01 sweet flick!! very feel-good 5 stars
5/25/01 Matthew Bartley The kind of film that makes you go 'Ah,bless...' Sweet flick 4 stars
5/22/01 sense of humor ligthen up, Steve G. - this isn't a PBS documentary 5 stars
5/22/01 Mark Albrow good,unpretententious,warm,human,true story 5 stars
5/21/01 Judy G. warm, funny, thoroughly enjoyable! 4 stars
5/01/01 Lianne Christian Fabulous 4 stars
5/01/01 Anthony Dever Sausages 5 stars
4/30/01 Allen Coupe total crap 2 stars
4/30/01 Trevor Langdon see it!! 4 stars
4/29/01 t.r. great characters, inspiring story, good laughs, fun nostalgia 5 stars
4/27/01 Steve Emery Excellent - very entertaining 5 stars
4/26/01 Billabongchic Finally, something different instead of the boring, fake, useless films of Hollywood. 5 stars
4/23/01 DishWasher Excellent 5 stars
4/20/01 Matt GO YOU BIG RED FIRE ENGINE 5 stars
4/18/01 A Real NASA Rocket Scientist This flick tells it like it is - wonderful, terrifying. That's what my job is like! 5 stars
4/08/01 Lord Raymos Nice, funny, entertaining, but overly cute like 3 stars
4/05/01 Heather Very funny movie, full of rich, interesting characters, worth looking out for! 5 stars
3/25/01 zoe really good 4 stars
3/24/01 Kyle Saw it in AU, but it is now opening in the US .... not to be missed 5 stars
3/24/01 Sara Character Driven, Quaint, Cute & Funny, Not A Nail Biter, but not meant to be. 4 stars
3/19/01 Alison Bugg Visually stunning,an Austrlian master peice of comedy that envokes the veiwers sences. 5 stars
3/19/01 J.Arcane Cosy,cosy, but not bad for an Aussie flick. 4 stars
3/13/01 Nathan Cherny A well told tale augmented by well timed humor pathos and humanity... thoroughly enjoyed 4 stars
12/13/00 Laron I was going to write out quite a bit but it doesn't seem to fit... in here.. so this will h 5 stars
12/10/00 marko Who needs Disney when we can do the same syrupy bullshit as this film proves. 3 stars
12/02/00 Wendy Buttel Dull as all hell . If it wasnt by Working Dog we wouldnt have heard of it 2 stars
11/28/00 cathy rolland thoroughly enjoyable - brought back lots of memories. I thought the characters were great. 4 stars
11/28/00 Clint Rolfe This film rocks - who's the wanker above who did that review, God I hope you die! 5 stars
11/20/00 Mic Sitch does it again. 4 stars
11/12/00 Adam T Movies about stuffups are allways the best. 5 stars
11/11/00 Aiken Drum Tops 5 stars
11/11/00 actors anonymous Better than your average fruit bowl 5 stars
11/07/00 Steve Gilbert This film has no entertainment value whatsoever 1 stars
11/05/00 John Bamford the sub plotsa do go nowhere but i think they show the down to earthness of the characters 4 stars
11/01/00 Michael S Simple story, told so that it feels great. More inspiring than hilarious though... 5 stars
10/29/00 Fred Nerk Good. 5 stars
10/29/00 steve Great movie, but will it make it in America? 5 stars
10/29/00 Nancy Haire Good music and felt like the times 4 stars
10/27/00 Jodie Ozzie stereotypes were very amusing. Give Rob Stich a break, I thought he did brilliantly 5 stars
10/25/00 Go Swans best oz flick since...the castle. coincidence? 5 stars
10/23/00 neil bartlett very clever witty comedy full of belly laughs Why didn't they enter it for AFI awards? 5 stars
10/22/00 sean allen I wish it wasn't directed by Sitch 5 stars
10/22/00 Viking A bit slow at times, but overall a great effort 4 stars
10/20/00 matthew smith a Sheer delight, wonderful characters 5 stars
10/19/00 Jason Whittaker The best Australian film in many a year 5 stars
10/18/00 jimmy Cliche-bound, overacted, underwritten; talented team should try harder 3 stars
10/18/00 Klute. A fine Australian movie that will play to all audiences. Great fun, great flick. 4 stars
10/17/00 DjWrexxy OLD TIMER TOTAL BULLSHIT 1 stars
10/15/00 Psike Solid cast and background of the lunar landing make this one worthwhile. 4 stars
9/04/00 Waldo A great cast and a great story. Even better than The Castle. 5 stars
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  27-Apr-2001 (PG-13)


  19-Oct-2000 (M)

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