The Dish

Director: Rob Sitch
Year Released: 2000
Rating: 2.0

Quaint, little film from Australia that really embodies the adjective "sleeper" - it's barely a blip on its own radar. During the Apollo 11 trip to the moon, there were two active satellites tracking its position - one in California, the other in Parkes, Australia. This picture shows the "events" that took place at the Parkes locale, and the "difficulties" they ran into trying to track Neil Armstrong and company. Okay, okay, I'll tuck my sarcasm under the pillow for another review, and cut straight to the point: nothing happens. Nothing. The director and screenwriters' idea of "drama" has a power failure taking place ("Oh no! We lost the shuttle!") and then slight winds making maneuvering the dish a problem ("It can't take the 60 mph winds! We won't get the images from space!"). It's sweet and light and sometimes humorous, but also 'barely there' - I, during the screening, would break off in mental flights of fancy, reviewing earlier thoughts and potential plans for the next day. Stock footage supplies imagery of the moon landing and the news media at the time - if there's any impact this picture will have on you, it's mostly because of nostalgia. Sam Neill is good as usual.