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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable piece of cinema
Brought to you by the people behind 'The Castle', 'The Dish' shows a gentler side to Australian comedy without loosing any of the wit or observation. The story is of simpler times, when even computers were new and people had heady ideas about the future. Of course the moon landings helped to change all that and there are undertones in the film that the world is about to...
Published on 4 Nov 2001 by johnscott322

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching if...
You really love Apollo 13 as it is evocative of this era of early space travel. However, it's not as suspense filled as Apollo 13 and is a much gentler movie. It's about the people who operator a Satilite dish in Australia during the moon landing of Apollo 11. It's feel is the same as Apollo 13 but the story is not quite so gripping.
Published on 2 Sep 2007 by Scooby Doo


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable piece of cinema, 4 Nov 2001
By 
johnscott322 (Swindon, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Brought to you by the people behind 'The Castle', 'The Dish' shows a gentler side to Australian comedy without loosing any of the wit or observation. The story is of simpler times, when even computers were new and people had heady ideas about the future. Of course the moon landings helped to change all that and there are undertones in the film that the world is about to change. Full marks for the casting, with all of the players giving superb and truly believable performances. The wit,warmth and humanity of this film are matched by a sublime soundtrack which also helps to plot the changes that are in the offing. It is a film that you really will want to watch again and again. Those old enough to remember how new the technology was that first sent man to the moon will wonder how it was possible; younger generations will think it incredible that we even dared to try. A comedy, a slice of history and a well rounded film that reminds what entertainment is really all about.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films that I have seen, 26 Feb 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This film came highly recommended from friends who had seen it at the cinema, so I bought the DVD as I had missed it at the time. It was well worth it, one of the best films I have seen. A really good human comedy, well written and acted.
Although based on a true story, the characters are fictionalised to make the drama more engaging. Sam Neill's character comes out with what must be the quote of the movie .... in relation to televising the first moon walk .... "Imagine stuffing that up!" - I suspect that most people with some experience of life can empathise, which is one of the things that gives the film its power.
A friend who works at a radio astronomical observatory tells me that the atmosphere portrayed in the film is very true to life. Except the sequence of them playing cricket on the surface of the dish which, I am told, would be a very serious offence in reality.
Was there anything that I thought ought to be on the DVD that wasn't? Yes. Although there was the usual stuff - interviews, trailers and adverts (who wants those?) and some very good supporting material such as the newsreel of the Parkes observatory opening and some NASA archive footage - I would have liked to have seen something about the work that the Parkes dush has been used for in its long operational life, and something about the real people who took part in the events portrayed.
Was there anything that I didn't like about the film? Yes, but not to detract form a 5 star rating. At the start and end we see close ups of Sam Neill made up to look like an old man - I know it must be difficult to do, but if it doesn't look better than that then don't use a close up!
Will you only enjoy this fiilm if you are interested in things to do with space? Absolutely not, it is about people.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice gentle comedy based on a true story, 22 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Set at the time of the first moon landing the story revolves around the Parkes Radio Telescope which formed a major element of NASA's communication network. The film takes us through the events of the Parkes community up to and through the first moon landing. It''s a comedy, but a gentle one with some real suspense (will we get the TV pictures or not) of course as with the movie Apollo 13 we know the outcome but still the suspense level is maintained.
Good performances from all the cast, great music and some good comedy moments. As a Pom I take my hat off to the Aussie's at Parkes who really took part and those who brought us this film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowl of Cherries, 2 Aug 2002
By 
D. Smith "dave_smith21" (Saffron Walden, Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I rented The Dish on DVD recently, and now I'm about to buy a copy. I watched it last night with the family who kept asking me before it started "Well, what's it about?" They treated my half-baked descriptions, based on reading the blurb on the cover, with some disbelief, and at least half the family wasn't keen on watching it at all. "A whole film about a satellite dish - are you crazy?"
But I forced them to watch it anyway. Result: absolute delight.
We hooted out loud with laughter on many occasions ("and I must remind you that this astronaut and this spacecraft are NOT to scale" - the astronaut in question was about three times bigger than the ship!) and the rest of the time we were smiling broadly. Ealing comedy comes to Australia, with a cast of endearing characters, beautiful and detailed writing, and a simple story told with great craft and skill. You'll love it.
Not a world-shattering film, but a near-perfect little jewel of a movie. Why does something as good as this not get the marketing push of, say, Men in Black.
By the way, the DVD special features are good, and the inclusion of a large amount of NASA film footage is superb, including Apollo 11 launch images that I'd never seen before, such as the sequence shot from the ground of Saturn 5 first stage being jettisoned, followed by the second stage firing, and the release of the giant O-ring adapter and escape rocket, all at 40 miles up. Absolutely riveting for all us baby boomers who were around in 69, and their space obsessed kids.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Feel-Good Film, 4 Feb 2007
By 
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This film never fails to bring a smile to my face. A massively underrated film that never got the attention it deserved on its release in both cinema and DVD. Firstly the characters, while slightly clichéd are extremely amusing and work very well together. The script compliments the actors and this helps the film run smoothly. Secondly, the film is amazingly easy to watch, due to the fairly light storyline, along with its nice, witty sense of humour, a sense of humour that can make people of all ages laugh. It really is the most effective "feel-good" film i have ever seen.

Another reason is that it catches the optimistic and excited mood of the time just right. Along with this there is some brilliant archive material that really can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Lastly there is a fantastic soundtrack to accompany the film, the majority of the songs from the time and rather like the film are cheerful and upbeat.

I really do urge you to watch this film. It is a complete gem that can be watched in any situation, any mood and as i said at the start, will always bring a smile to your face, no matter how many times you watch it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Little Film, 16 Feb 2002
By 
T. Halkin "Tim" (Munich, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Most of us who were over 5 years old at the time, remember where they were when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. This monumentally emotional moment for mankind, albeit thoroughly superfluous scientific achievement, is the background for this beautifully constructed film.
The thing that makes this film so special is the fact that there isn't a character that appears on screen that you don't care about, regardless how small the role. That takes true writing and directing talent!
The entire small town of Parks, New South Wales, Australia is all atwitter, because their radio observatory dish has been chosen to be NASA's office link to the Apollo 11 mission in the southern hemisphere. The mayor's wife comments, while serving her joint of lamb, that man being moments away from landing on the moon makes their problems seem mundane... That's the beauty of the film, you care so much about these people; their problems are anything but mundane - you cheer-on the techno-nerd asking the town beauty to go out with him; you ache inside because the head of the observatory lost his wife a year ago and she can't be there to revel in his glory; you love the fact that the out-of-place NASA official is the only one who realizes that all the mayor's rebellious teenage daughter really needs to chill-out is an ounce of respect.
This is the best kind of feel-good film. An absolute jewel that you'll want to watch more than just once.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly heart warming film, 22 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dish [VHS] [2001] (VHS Tape)
It may not look like the most enthralling film you'll ever see - but don't let first impressions put you off! This is a heart warming putting-a-smile-on-your-face kind of film, filled with Aussie humour. It's a gentle story about the first men landing on the moon, and a small town community's role as the television broadcasters of the event, and is a surprisingly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours! Can't recommend it highly enough!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment - Light Hearted Humour, 15 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Set down-under, The Dish provides a new twist to the story of the moon landings. The film outlines the plight of a tracking station in the back end of Australia which becomes part of the historic moon landings.
The film follows a small number of the main characters as they track, and then LOSE the Apollo spacecraft.
The film is a gentle, yet very funny story mixing comedy with humanity in a series of touching scenes.
No performance is bad in this film. A great story, nice film work and superb acting.
Top Marks !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable film well worth buying., 22 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Being a fan of all things NASA, films like 2001 and Apollo 13 have always been top of my list. When I heard about this film I was not sure if it could really do justice to the great stories surrounding the space race in the '60s. Having just watched it I can honestly say I was most definitely satisfied. I watched it with the rest of my family and it made great family viewing. For once there was virtually no bad language (as I beleive was the case in the late '60s) and the plot is about the Parke's earth tracking station in Austrialia. It had never occureed to me that NASA had to rely on other non-us tracking stations when the earth's positioned changed.
The fairly minimal (but enjoyable) love interest is there and balances well with the factual story.
Good use of the Dolby 5.1 surround sound is made and there are many good sounds from the '60s to add to the atmosphere of the era.
Overall an excellent and enjoyable film - certainly as good as Apollo 13 for bring tears to the eyes at the end!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sweet-natured movie, well acted and amusing, 30 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dish [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Terms such as "charming," "sweet-natured," "gentle" and "good-spirited" may mean the kiss of death for some movies. It's also possible that the movie in question just might be worth watching because it is well-made, deals with a genuinely inspiring topic and features some classy actors. For me, The Dish falls in that category. The dish is a 1,000-ton radio telescope plunked down in a sheep pasture close to the New South Wales town of Parkes. It's purpose, as part of a NASA network, is to help track Apollo 11's voyage to the moon and to relay television pictures of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to set foot there. Sam Neill as Cliff Buxton heads the team running the radio telescope. There's also Al Burnett (Patrick Warburton) as a NASA representative, Glenn Latham (Tom Lang) as a young and excruciatingly shy mathematician and computer whiz, and Mitch Mitchell (Kevin Harrington), who's job it is to see that all the mechanical functions work without a hitch.

We know Armstrong made it and we know television showed us his first steps. For those of us who were around, we also remember how amazing it all was. What we learn in this gentle comedy are the crises that happened. One morning, for instance, Cliff says, "Glenn, come here." "What?" Al Burnett looks at Glenn. "Every coordinate in this book has been changed," he says. "Yeah... I changed them," Glenn says. "Why?" "Because they were wrong." "Why were they wrong," Al asks. "Dunno," Glenn says. Latham steps in. "What about them were wrong," he asks Glenn. "Oh! Well," Glenn says, "the figures NASA gave us were for the northern hemisphere... and we're in the southern hemisphere? I can change them back but then you'd be pointing in the wrong dir..." "Glenn, it might be a good idea for you to tell us these things," Cliff says. "Oh, sure, I just didn't want to worry you... Cuppa tea, Al?"

There's the pride and enthusiasm that overtakes everyone living in Parkes, the visit from the U.S. ambassador and the Australian prime Minister that sends everyone into a tizzy, the near disaster that occurs when contact is lost with Apollo 11 and how an amusing appearance of imperturbability is maintained in public when everything from failed back-up generators, wiped-out computers and a gale promises one of the biggest let-downs -- no television broadcast -- for the entire world. For me, one of the reasons this movie works so well is because Parkes is an idealized small town where everyone knows each other, there are absolutely no secrets, and where the people have personalities which are calculated to be amusing but which aren't manipulated into becoming caricatures. Bob McIntyre (Roy Billing), the mayor of Parkes, is a fireplug of a guy who resembles Bob Hoskins. The technical aspects of what's happening may go over his head, but he's willing to give the benefit of the doubt to almost anyone. His relationship with his wife, May (Genevieve Mooy), is friendly, loving and pleasant to observe. We learn a little, and occasionally a lot, about the people of Parkes and we wind up liking them. This is comedy, but it's gentle stuff. When we smile at a person's puzzlement, dialogue or reaction it's because we appreciate the situation, not that we're enjoying our own superiority.

Sam Neil, smoking a pipe and wearing a sweater, provides the steady center of the movie. He does a fine job. The Dish is more or less based on a true story and we're told at the end that the radio telescope is still part of the NASA tracking network.
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