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4.8 out of 5 stars76
4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a film I can watch repeatedly. Warm, gentle humour, a perfect soundtrack contemporary with the action and a great story with something for most people and suitable as a family film. There are a few fascinating true details about the moon landing that I didn't know and the risks that were being taken. Even though you know what happens, the acting is so good that you're on the edge of your seat during the landing itself.

On the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, this was what I watched, it brings home what a brave enterprise the whole thing was and gives it a human face. I've even bought extra copies to lend to friends, its such a lovely film that you want to "convert" others. Recommended.
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on 1 February 2009
i love watching anything about the space race and as i like sam neill bought this film, it is brilliant, so typically australian with its humour. there are so many great scenes, the budding romance between the boffin and the crazy driver delivering their lunch, the lovesick lad trying to woo the girl next door, the brilliant scene when the boffins fool the us ambassador and the band playing hawaii 5-0 instead of the us national anthem, this is one of my favourite films watched time after time
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on 18 January 2009
You can find loads of reviews of this film on the web that all confirm what a quirky, warm and enjoyable 90 minutes of viewing this film gives. It's one of those really great slices of Oz cinema to complement Muriel's Wedding, The Year My Voice Broke, 'Priscilla', etc.

Moon landing fans like me will certainly enjoy the fascinating real life story (laced with added comic moments) of how the greatest TV event in history almost didn't make it to the small screen. What they may enjoy even more is the host of great extras including documentaries about the actual massive 'Dish' at Parkes, 30 minutes of original NASA Apollo 11 footage from the Moonwalk One documentary and the best bit for me, JFK's magnificent, complete speech at RICE in 1961 extolling the challenges of going to the moon and why mankind should do it (whilst cleverly hiding his real motives!). This is worth the money alone and shows how he charismatically sold this mind-numbingly complex, technologically challenging and horrifically expensive project to the American people. Spellbinding!
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on 11 October 2011
Our copy of this has been doing the rounds now for ages, it's that good. I never tire of this lovely film. I have a bit of a phobia of large satellite dishes (I know...) so first watched this on TV with some trepidation!! But, I'm so glad I did. I love Sam Neill and Aussie films, so the combination proved too much to resist. The soundtrack is great, lots of wonderful contemporary tracks to enjoy, and the gentle humour is fab - watch it a few times and little extra bits pop out at you that you don't notice at first. There's some nice little sub-plots going on to keep things moving, and the characters are all superb - individuals you come to care about and root for during what is actually not a long film at all. Quite moving in parts (if you're that way inclined), this is a gem that will entertain you whenever you like ("there's nothing on TV tonight!"). Same goes for "Strictly Ballroom", by the way - brill!
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After the same team's joyfully funny The Castle, The Dish is a bit of a disappointment first time round: the sheer good nature is still there, but too often the jokes aren't. Set in the runup to the first landing on the Moon, it centers on the various characters in the small Australian town of Parkes which houses the huge dish that will - power cuts and miscalculations notwithstanding - beam the live TV pictures to Earth. Or at least that's the plan. It starts off well with a number of scenes that manage to mix cleverly exposition with character-defining humor, but it's not long before you notice that the film is spending so much of its running time setting up the situation and filling in all the background details needed for the jokes to pay off that you begin to get impatient for them to just start the story. Yet second time round it's much easier to see the film's appeal and take it to your heart as it celebrates the best in its characters without belittling them, with Edmond Choi's score managing to beautifully underline the aspiration of the era. It's big on charm and likeability and makes great use of the Parkes' dish itself, which still resides right in the middle of a sheep paddock.

There's an excellent array of extras on Icon's UK DVD - 2 audio commentaries, making of featurette The Dish on The Dish, UK-exclusive interview with Sam Neill, 20 NASA archive clips, The Footage We Loved But Couldn't Use with optional commentary, storyboards, stills galley, NASA timeline and Apollo 11 text diary, radio and TV spots and theatrical trailer.
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on 13 July 2009
This is one of my all time favorite films. Certainly in my top ten.

But I recognize that this is not the case for others.

I like the film because of the characters and humor, the portrayal of life in a small town and of a life devoid of car chases and shootouts.

It is also one of the films that makes me laugh a lot. The kind of humor I like, not vicious or slapstick, but gentle and warm humor sympathetically invoked.

The film is about a radio telescope located in a sheep farm in Australia and the pivotal role it played in the beaming of video of the moon landing to earth. The characters are wonderful and I would regard as normal people (not offbeat as some critics have said). A typical small town community playing its part inadvertently in one of the most impressive achievements in space exploration.

My enjoyment of this film is in complete contrast to what many online film critic sites regards as a good film these days, namely the crop of animation films that seem to top the critics charts. This film is about real small town gentle people of which the world contains many but which is not that popular as a film subject and good actors handling an interesting story.

Please make more films like this...
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on 28 May 2012
This film is heart warming and will make you smile throughout. You will also laugh out loud in parts. It paints a marvellous picture of a simpler time where the whole planet was inspired by a technical achievement that has been unsurpassed to this day.

It is easy to watch and re-watch and has a unique Australian perspective, you just want it all to be true. To give any details would spoil your viewing, just get it and watch it.

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 August 2011
The Dish is directed by Rob Sitch who also co-wrote the screenplay with Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Jane Kennedy. It stars Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long and Patrick Warburton. Film tells the story of how Parkes Observatoy, New South Wales, Australia, was used to relay the live pictures of man's first ever steps on the moon during the historic year of 1969. Not bad for a satellite receiver built in the middle of a sheep paddock!

The Australians do it from time to time, knock out a cracking picture that turns heads in the right direction. With an appealing cast headed by a superb Sam Neill, director Rob Sitch (The Castle) offers up a side of the historical Apollo 11 moon landing that many would have forgotten; namely that someone had to be responsible for showing those live feeds as man took his giant leap for mankind. Here we become party to a small group of normal people working their hinds off to make sure millions don't miss the occasion.

In the lead up to the landings the town of Parkes is absolutely bursting with excitement, thus the pressure on the guys at the observatory is from both NASA and Australia! It wont be all plain sailing, and for sure there's some artistic licence used for tension purposes, but the drama is effective whilst beautifully being cloaked in Australian dry humour. The technical parts of the narrative are kept to understandable levels, aided in impact by being delivered by such affable and humane boffin types. While the character development is first rate, rendering the comedy that is born out as being natural.

Slight, simple, low-key, a film where not much happens and tagged as a heart-warming human interest tale, The Dish is all of those things. It's also an absolutely delightful picture that all cinema fans should let into their lives. 9/10
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on 15 August 2011
Other reviewers have said it all so cannot add anything to the film.The extras on the disc are very interesting and the soundtrack cd is worth seeking out.One of my top 10 favourite films,a real feelgood movie.
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on 25 January 2010
A great movie for those of us who were there, and of course, cos taste is a minority pursuit, an overlooked masterpiece.
Super music, old and new.
Very evocative use of newsreel, accurately capturing the mood/impact back then.
Endearing performances from all, especially Sam N. The 'less is more' maestro.
Though it might be nice to re-shoot the last few frames (for the whatever edition) when he is genuinely older. That perhaps having been the weakest part and the only flaw in this inevitably lost gem.
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