Video: The Best Moments of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Those who had four hours to spare last night and access to a TV were probably watching the Opening Ceremony for The 2012 Summer Olympics, as London did its best to compete with the spectacle that Beijing put on four years ago. But did it succeed?
The ceremony certainly had its moments of spectacle, put together by film director Danny Boyle, who helmed "127 Hours," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "28 Days Later," to name a few. Many of those big moments came during the opening performance piece, which told the history of Great Britain through the Industrial Revolution by transforming the set in the stadium from an English countryside (with real grass!) to the suggestion of a steel mill. A long set change ended in a ring of glowing steel being "forged" in the stadium, then raised above the crowd and joined with others to make the Olympic rings:
Other moments were a bit more fanciful (or just plain weird, depending on your tastes), such as a segment that was made to represent the dreams and nightmares of children, in which there was a 100-foot-tall Voldemort puppet and a flock of Mary Poppinses. Yeah, it was weird:
There were funny moments, too, which turned out to be the most entertaining of the ceremony. These included a skit featuring Rowan Atkinson, famously known as Mr. Bean, who played a very bored keyboardist, as well as a particularly strange sketch that had Daniel Craig (the current James Bond) meeting up with the Queen, and the two of them (or rather a couple of stuntpeople) parachuting into the arena via helicopter.
And yes, the actual Queen agreed to doing this sketch. It's kinda amazing. Check out those two below: