My first thoughts at the end of watching the Opening Ceremonies: Bravo to Danny Boyle for putting on such a good show! It really had a bit of something for everyone, and the effects and all were brilliant! Even if was somewhat too long.
Some other thoughts on the Opening Ceremonies...
One of my favourite bits of the whole business was the opening sequence for the BBC coverage with Benedict Cumberbatch. For those who haven't seen it, here's what you missed:
Kenneth Branagh was terrific in his bit, and I love the steampunk elements that were introduced in the whole business. There were a couple of bits where I heard parts of the Doctor Who theme, and expected one of the Doctors (either Matt Smith or David Tennant) to make an appearance in the TARDIS, but that never happened.
Musically, I loved the homage and tribute to the music of London and the UK over the years, with bits and sequences featuring the music of different time periods. The Rap wasn't too my taste, nor was the heavy/thrash metal parts, but they were right to include that given what they were trying to accomplish here.
Mike Oldfield playing bass guitar? What the heck was up with that? That man should have been on lead guitar!
Her Majesty the Queen: That entrance was very, very...weird. English sensibility to some extent, but still... Goodness me, accompanied by Daniel Craig's James Bond, and the whole helicopter business. That last bit was just...tacky. And just as a couple of observations on this stuff... the Queen looked displeased at times by the whole proceedings, Daniel Craig didn't look all that amused either, and I thought that the corgis (which I don't believe are actually hers) looked too fat. That said, the ceremonies were so long that while the Queen looked all right in the early part of them, she really looked tired and down-in-the-face as the festivities went on.
It made me smile to see David Beckham, who looked positively delighted at being allowed to speed up the Thames in defiance of the Port of London's (at least I think it's that, right?) regulations.
The Parade of Nations was as usual, long. This just served to make the whole Opening Ceremonies way tooooo long. I did notice that the tempo of the music was faster than in previous years, possibly to move the Parade along a bit faster?, but it didn't seem to matter that much. The athletes out there were obviously having fun and enjoying the whole thing, but Goddess, was that long! :( That said, the fashion statements of the various countries in the Parade of Nations was interesting to watch, though I do think that some of those nations that came on with 2-5 athletes were just strange to see when compared to some of the really big groups that came on for the major Olympic powers.
There is also one other comment I want to make about the coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Isn't it ironic that McDonalds is the official food of the Olympic Games? Here in Canada, various places including schools and the like are trying to cut down on the junk food consumed by people, and yet here we saw adverts for McDonalds in support of the games. Crazy stuff.
In any event, to sum up: Somewhat enjoyable, definitely a few highlights, but Goddess, was that way too long!