Knee-jerk review: "Opening Ceremonies of XXX Summer Olympics"

1. Of the two, we prefer the Beijing opening in 2008.  Even with its vaguely threatening show of socialist uniformity and conviction.
2. Danny Boyle looks like the weird high school chemistry teacher you made fun of behind his back.  But the guy has talent.  Trainspotting's overrated, though.  Sorry, film geeks.  Slumdog Millionaire is the masterpiece.
3. On one hand those glowing blankets that kids had are very space-ace cool.  We kind of want one.  But on the other hand, how can you go to sleep with your blanket glowing right in your face?
The forging of the giant Olympic ring?  And then how it floats up and joins the other four rings?  Genius.  Drama.  Goose-bumps.
4. Enough, Ryan Seacrest.  Enough.  Please.
5. We begrudgingly give respect to the James Bond-Queen Elizabeth II gag.  If only because it seemed like something so impossible to pull off given the stature of Her Majesty and what would imagine would be her refusal to do such a thing.  But we hated the animated Churchill statue.  Too Disney.
6. What's the deal with the enormous Ferris wheel with the round glass bubbles?  How scary must that be to ride?
7. Can someone tell us definitively: is David Beckham really a good soccer player or not?
8. Beware the army of the flying Mary Poppinses.  We think that was a line in Shakespeare somewhere.
9. Sorry, NBC.  Not only did we fast-forward as much as possible through the unending parade of nations, but we fell asleep through most of the part we had to watch in real-time.
10. For us, the Rowan Atkinson bit just didn't fit with the import and pageantry of the Olympics.
All of the filmed bits made the ceremony feel a bit like the Oscars.  Maybe it was how Atkinson morphed himself into Chariots of Fire.  That hasn't been funny since Billy Crystal did it in, like, 2002.
11. And by the way, for the record we're still irritated that Chariots of Fire, a movie no one we know has ever seen, beat Raiders of the Lost Ark for Best Picture.
12. NBC ran a montage of past Summer Olympic posters.  Los Angeles 1984 didn't make the cut.  
13. Love that the torchbearer ran into the stadium through a line of the construction workers who helped build it.
14. At some point, doesn't someone at Ralph Lauren ask the guy sitting in the cubicle next to him, "Hey, shouldn't we have these American Olympic uniforms, like, made in the U.S.A.?"
15. Is it us, or did the pastoral cottage setting of the initial set-up seem like it ought to have a few Hobbits running around?
16. We respect Muhammed Ali, but we're not sure why he suddenly popped up to touch the Olympic flag.
17. Paul McCartney may look now strangely like an old woman, but there's nothing dated about "Hey Jude."  All of those thousands of people singing the "na na na" chorus was beautiful.
18. We're not ashamed to admit we always get a little emotional when the big stadium cauldron finally gets lit.  The moment here was a great one as many small urns slowly caught fire one by one then raised up into one single giant flame.

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