The Dish

"OK"

The Dish Review


Another "quirky" Australian comedy is poised to be consumed by the ignorant American masses. The Dish (one of the most popular films in Australia!!) has been hailed as "an inspired human comedy" complete with quirky characters, a heartwarming story, nostalgic images of past glories, and enough sheep jokes to make my grandmother chuckle. The only thing they forgot to include is a reason to care about this fluff of a film.

Based on a true story, The Dish chronicles a giant satellite dish located in a sheep paddock in Parkes, Australia that assisted in transmitting communications and television signal broadcasts between Apollo 11 and NASA in the summer of 1969. The dish is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and was the only dish in 1969 powerful enough to capture the live camera broadcasts from the historic landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. Running the dish are four quirky characters: Cliff Burton (Sam Neill), the dish's supervisor who smokes too much and pines over his dead wife; Mitch (Kevin Harrington), the nerdy dish technician in love with the local town girl; Glen (Tom Long), the "chip-on-his-shoulder" dish operator who spends most of the film whining; and Al Burnett (Patrick Warburton), the stuffy NASA agent who wears thick glasses and carries the nurturing tone of Barbara Walters. These four knuckleheads, during Apollo's flight, overcome such obstacles as political ass-kissing, power outages, puppy love, gale force winds, and ridiculous moment-of-purpose speeches in order to not look like a bunch of Australian outback hicks working in the middle of a sheep paddock.

All these things end up being about as entertaining as watching the grass grow in the sheep paddock.

I'm the first to admit I must have missed the boat on this one. Elements of better films -- October Sky, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff -- kept popping into my head as I watched the mind-numbing montages that consumed way too much celluloid. Archived footage of NASA engineers working diligently is intermixed with serene, dopey smiles from the crew fiddling with the controls of thedish, rockets taking off, archive footage of crowds circa 1969, and astronauts landing on the moon. I felt like I was watching some cheap made-for-TV movie on a old console set.

The sentimental bookends of Sam Neill wearing bad makeup as an older man reminiscing about that summer of '69 further compounds the film's homogenous sap. There's nothing bad here, it's just innocuous, watery, and lifeless.

What's he smoking, anyway?



The Dish

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th April 2001

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Distant Horizons, Working Dog

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 94 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Cliff Buxton, Billy Mitchell as Cameron, Roz Hammond as Miss Nolan, Christopher-Robin Street as Damien, Luke Keltie as Graeme, Naomi Wright as Melanie, Ben Wright-Smith as Nicholas, Grant Thompson as Mr. Callen, Bille Brown as Prime Minister, Bernard Curry as Reporter, Beverley Dunn as Sekretärin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.