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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 Chris Parry

"Laughs, memories, great characters, insipid story."
4 stars

It made a million in a week of preview screenings in it's homeland of Australia, so it's a fair bet that The Dish is going to make a lot of money. And so it should. It's a great little flick, a good laugh, one of those films that never tries to stretch itself to a sprint, in fact it barely goes above brisk walking pace. But you don't care. It's bloody pleasant.

In 1969, as the Americans were getting ready to walk on the moon for the first time, the world held it's breath. In a small town called Parkes in rural Australia, a tiny team of scientists prepared to play a part almost as important as that of the moonwalkers themseves - they were bringing back the TV pictures so that the entire world could see the big event. The Dish is the story of these ramshackle country boys and their problems coming to grips with the enormity of their task. No more, no less.

It's certainly tame fare storywise, but it's very, very funny fare. The team behind the film were the same people who created last year's internationally undiscovered gem, The Castle, and though this comes across as a lot more professional and less farcical, it will suffer from comparisons between the two. The Castle was just out and out funny, very hit and miss, but the hits have rang resoundingly throughout Australian culture since. The Dish will not have such legs on the video shelves, it's a 'see once' affair, much more serious, and a much more mature work.

But there are issues that these guys need to address if they're to make a bigger mark on the world of film. This script, though often hilarious, is well short on story. The number of characters involved would seem to have offered much potential in stretching them out into another twenty minutes of film, but you're left wondering if perhaps certain sidetracks just didn't work and didn't make the final cut.

Direction-wise, you can see Rob Sitch was intently watching his television at the time the events described took place. He's clearly very keen on the topic and spends a large amount of time with old moon landing news footage from the time, generally going on about ten seconds too long with each flashback clip. It's here where The Dish really drags along, along with the countless shots of the big-ass telescope moving itself about. These get very old, very quickly, and if not for the comedy that you always know is coming shortly, the film would enter definite suckage territory.

Fortunately, with a reasonably internationally notable cast in Neil Warburton and Sam Neill, The Dish is an oddity in Australian film - a movie that will play as well overseas as it does at home, and stands a chance of making a packet on many continents. It has crossover appeal and, though I personally doubt this will make as much money as their previous film (my faith in distributors to properly back a film like this in short supply), it points to better things on the horizon.

Given a bigger canvas, bigger budget and more-rounded director, this writing team is one film away from the careermaker. Enjoy The Dish, it's certainly worth your time and definitely a funny, heartwarming flick that puts a lot of what Hollywood cranks out to shame. Heck, you can even take your mom, and you know it's been a while since you too her to a movie. Why don't you give her a call, eh? It's been a while, you know she'd like to hear from you. Go on...

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originally posted: 10/19/00 01:11:13
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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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