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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.