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The Dish | DVD | (12/11/2001)
from £48.78 | Saving you £-34.79 (-248.70%) | RRP
When released in 2000, The Dish achieved the highest opening gross in its native Australia, a testament to the country's pride in its home-grown movies. Concentrating on that legendary day in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon The Dish looks at the small but crucial role of the Parkes satellite receiver, without which the world would never have seen the historic landing. Sam Neill is the pipe-smoking "Dish Master" Cliff, whose team includes Dish mover "Mitch", distractedly love-struck electronics nerd Glenn and NASA representative Al. The Dish could have played the plot premise as a documentary or with a dramatic edge, but chooses instead to present the story at a leisurely comedic pace which oozes charm. The excited little community offers a snapshot of a fondly remembered past full of the idealism of the 1960s. Populated by warm-hearted souls, it's easy to forgive the town band welcoming a US Ambassador with the "Hawaii 5-0" theme instead of the National Anthem. The Dish may not have the sense of danger of Apollo 13, or the dazzling FX of something like Armageddon, but it does have rounded, enjoyable characterisation and a truthful, warming atmosphere, making it easily one of the most enjoyable films inspired by the "space race". --Paul Tonks