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Movie Review: The Dish

Story: Yes, it is another film about the Apollo 11's landing on the moon in July of 1969. And just where were you on that day? My friend Mark and I had a funny discussion about that after the film was over. Anyway, the big difference here is that this is an Australian film so we are spared the superheroes, grand fanfares, sappy factor and violins. The film is based on the true story of Parkes, Australia, a small town with a huge telecommunications dish (that is still being used by NASA today). When the Apollo 11 changes its moon landing schedule, the main dish in California will not be able to relay live pictures so the responsibility goes to Parkes and its four man crew. This is definitely a feel good film but splendidly avoids eye-rolling - a good director's trick indeed. Director Rob Sitch employs a light, effective touch. He co-wrote the script with the same team that he wrote The Castle (Jane Kennedy, Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner). Fly me to the Moon!

Acting: Everyone was right on the mark. It is highly commendable when it would have been so easy for some of the quirky characters to go over the top but everyone was just right. Sam Neil is terrific and Puddy'of Seinfeld (Patrick Warburton) is very good. There are some Australian newcomers who we will surely be seeing more of in the future.

Critters: Sheep (the Dish is located in a sheep paddock) and dogs.

Food: Lots of sandwiches and cups of tea.

Visual Art: None. Although the lunar landscape is swell.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Excellent - many of the upbeat life is filled with endless possibilities of the 60's tunes such as Oliver's Good Morning, Starshine.

Opening Titles: Terrific. The entire history of NASA was depicted during the opening.

Theater Audience: Spartan - once again we were the only ones laughing.

Tissue Usage: A couple of tears out of one eye -- more like feel-good welling.

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: It was a little sluggish at the beginning.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine but those images of the moon are still terrific on the big screen. You could also rent Walk on the Moon about the same day in July of 1969 but it takes place in the Catskills with Diane Lane. There is also Capricorn One, with OJ that is a hoot and is often played at 4 in the morning on TV.

Length: 105 minutes