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"THE DISH"
(2001) (Sam Neill, Patrick Warburton) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Moderate Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Mild Mild Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: The residents of a small, Australian town prepare for the first televised landing of man on the moon that's to be relayed through their huge, radio telescope.
PLOT:
It's 1969 and NASA has launched Apollo 11 in hopes of landing on the moon. They also hope to transmit live images of the event back to Earth and have so employed a mammoth radio telescope in the rural town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia as the backup dish to their prime receiver in California. To make sure things go smoothly in their "just in case" scenario, NASA has sent a by-the-books representative, Al Burnett (PATRICK WARBURTON), to Parkes to make sure everything goes as planned.

There, he meets Cliff Buxton (SAM NEILL), the older team leader of what turns out to be the largest receiving dish in the Southern Hemisphere, along with his crew, Ross "Mitch" Mitchell (KEVIN HARRINGTON) - who doesn't think Al or NASA respects the Aussies - and Glenn Latham (TOM LONG). He's the shy calculations expert who can't find it in himself to ask out Janine Kellerman (ELIZA SZONERT), the young woman who repeatedly brings the crew snacks and is the sister to Rudi (TAYLER KANE), the dish's lone and overzealous security guard.

The townspeople of Parkes are just as excited as the team to be involved in such a historic event, and none could be prouder than Mayor Bob McIntyre (ROY BILLING). He's eagerly awaiting the arrival of both Australia's Prime Minister (BILLE BROWN) and the United States Ambassador (JOHN McMARTIN) with whom he'll watch the landing, all while dealing with the varied reactions of his family members including wife May (GENEVIEVE MOOY), son Billy (CARL SNELL), and his moody teen daughter, Marie McIntyre (LENKA KRIPAC) who's the object of attention for Keith Morrison (MATTHEW MOORE), an overeager cadet in training.

As time counts down toward the scheduled landing and they suddenly find themselves as the primary receiving station for the big event, the Australian team must deal with various unforeseen complications and mishaps as they race to get things back in order to televise the footage around the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of the space program of the past or present, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SAM NEILL plays the widowed Australian team leader who acts as something of the father figure to the rest of the crew. He also carries or smokes a pipe, use some brief profanity and tells/carries out a while lie about the status of their dish in one scene.
  • PATRICK WARBURTON plays a by-the-books NASA representative who's traveled to Australia to make sure everything goes smoothly. While initially somewhat uptight, he eventually loosens up and joins the Aussie team in saving the day. He also uses some profanity.
  • KEVIN HARRINGTON plays an Aussie team member who has a bad attitude toward Al and NASA (thinking they look down on the Aussies) and uses some profanity.
  • TOM LONG plays another team member who's responsible for the dish's electronics and is too shy to ask out Janine.
  • ROY BILLING plays the local mayor who's pleased to have such publicity for his town. He uses some profanity.
  • TAYLER KANE plays a young and over-enthusiastic man who's the dish's lone security guard.
  • ELIZA SZONERT plays his sister who repeatedly brings snacks to the crew, hoping that Glen will ask her out.
  • BILLE BROWN plays Australia's Prime Minister who uses some strong profanity.
  • JOHN McMARTIN plays the U.S. Ambassador who travels to Australia to witness the important event.
  • LENKA KRIPAC plays the Mayor's non-conformist daughter who has a bad/irritated attitude about nearly everyone and everything.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. A few characters have bad attitudes (but nothing horrible) while some drink and some smoke a bit.

    A scene shows archival footage of space rockets exploding, another may be slightly tense for some viewers, and a husband briefly pats his wife on the rear end. Beyond that, we learn that a character's wife died a year ago and there are some whimsical references to bodily elimination (where whistling sounds are used in place of the words for such activity).

    The rest of the film's remaining categories have nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more information about what's present and/or occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink at a party, including the Mayor who has beer.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • The Mayor and the Ambassador have drinks. The next day, the Mayor asks the Ambassador what he was saying the day before (to show others that he was talking about what they're now talking about) and the Ambassador (not getting that point) says that the Mayor said he shouldn't drink so much.
  • Cliff and Al have wine with the Mayor and his wife with dinner.
  • A local woman pours some liquor into the Prime Minister's tea after asking him if he'd like more "tea."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Some characters talk about bodily elimination, but don't even use benign terms for that (instead they make whistling sounds, etc. in place of such words).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mitch has a little toward Al, thinking that he and NASA look down on the Australians.
  • Marie, the Mayor's daughter, has a near constant nonconformist attitude about everything and everyone and often comes off as surly and/or belligerent (although that's played for comedy here).
  • Cliff and then Al tell a white lie to NASA about them losing track of the spacecraft (saying the problem must be somewhere else) and then they and others fake a communications broadcast to fool the U.S. Ambassador into thinking that everything is running just fine (which it isn't).
  • After Marie sarcastically asks if everyone in India will be watching the moonwalk on TV (after a comment is made about everyone being able to watch it), her father (the Mayor) jokingly says that they'll all watch on just one TV.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible a few viewers could find a scene where Cliff and his crew take a chance and turn the dish during high winds (thus offering the possibility of it crashing down on them) as somewhat tense.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Keith, a young soldier, practices spinning around what looks like a fake rifle.
  • Rudi, the security guard, wears a pistol.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You don't f*ck up," "Bullsh*t," "This is a sh*t ass moment," "D*ckheads," "What the hell was he talking about?" "Bloody" (adjective), "Sucking up," "Bitching" (complaining), "Bloody hell," "Crickey" and "What the hell was that?"
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A bit of dramatically suspenseful music plays during a few moments.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 11 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ckhead"), 6 asses, 5 hells, 3 uses of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Oh God" and "Good Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The Mayor briefly pats his wife on her rear end.
  • SMOKING
  • Cliff smokes or holds a pipe several times, while Mitch smokes once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Cliff's wife died a year or so ago.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of this true story and/or any artistic license taken with it.
  • The Apollo 11 mission of landing a man on the moon.
  • The way in which the crew acts like a team and doesn't give up in solving the problems and obstacles they face.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We briefly see some archival footage of space rockets exploding in air or on the launch pad in a montage of other space-related events and items.



  • Reviewed February 26, 2001 / Posted April 6, 2001

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