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The Dish (2000)

Director: Rob Sitch
Cast: Sam Neill, Billy Mitchell, Roz Hammond, Christopher-Robin Street
Genre: Comedy Drama

Premise (spoiler free): Based on the true but highly dramatized story of the radio dish in rural Australia that was used to broadcast TV images of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The film focuses on the people of the small rural town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia and their rather quirky behaviors.

Review: OK...that's my one word review. The Dish isn't particular well done and plays like a made for TV movie. The characters in the small town are quirky, but the film never gives them any dimension. We never learn anything about the town's inhabitants or what makes them so quirky and that's a lost opportunity. I never felt like the people were real or did I care about them. Instead of giving the characters some soul, the film tries too hard to be quirky with cutesy little jokes said at regular intervals.

The story premise itself is interesting and I enjoyed the scenes inside the dish during the Apollo 11 moon landing. According to what I read the interior of the dish is very authentic to what it looked like in 1969. But other than those scenes the movie fails to evoke any emotions, other than mild amusement. I didn't find it funny, nor did I find it moving. I found it just OK.

Lesson: don't get your history from movies. Many of the dramatic events involving the dish at Parkes, never actually happened.