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.
Continue reading: The Dish Review
The small-town-of-eccentrics genre is usually hit-or-miss -- or more frequently both hit and miss in the same picture. But just as frequently these movies are such a gas it's easy to forgive their foibles.
Such is the case with "The Dish," a tongue-in-cheek Aussie comedy about a real-life hamlet called Parkes and how it was put on the map in 1969 when the giant satellite dish located in a sheep pasture just outside of town became the Southern Hemisphere's relay station for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The whole town is, of course, abuzz with excitement and nervous about putting its best foot forward when they hear that the prime minister and the American ambassador will be paying a visit. But most of the action takes place out at the dish, where a micromanaging NASA wonk (Patrick Warburton) with a narrow view of horseplay and an even narrower tie is hovering over the scientific trio that run the joint: the recently widowed and quietly reflective project director (Sam Neill), the smart-aleck technician (Kevin Harrington) and the sarcasm-impaired, nervous nerd mathematician (Tom Long).
Continue reading: The Dish Review
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