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Ikarus360

Pyeongchang 2018 Opening Ceremony Verdicts and Reviews

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Just preparing this thread in the meanwhile. Still need to think a proper review though, but what do you guys think so far?

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Like I said in the other thread, CBC cut to too many commercials. Gotta watch the parts I missed on Youtube.

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I think there were some nice visual images and some great concepts, but nothing really came together to me. There was too much jumping between live action stuff in the stadium and prerecorded videos. I think that this show was absolutely created with TV audiences in mind (with commentary). Watching NBC's live stream it all felt so disjointed, but I expect tonight's tape delay broadcast to be much more cohesive for those who are lucky enough to watch it. 

One giant positive: the parade of nations was the least annoying it's ever been! 

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First impression was there were a ton of moments that were recycled from past ceremonies, like thr drum segment and olympics real from Beijing, dancing volunteers from Vancouver, Tokyo handover ceremony from Rio, etc. 

Disappointed more wasn't done to showcase Korean history. Yes I knoe they want to look forward and all that jazz, but some of the best OCs of all time (Athens, Sydney and Beijing) didn't seem to hurt from that focus. I'll have to watch it again either on primetime or HULU since I was watching from my phone this whole time.

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WOG opening ceremonies are always less focused than SOGs, because of the timing of the athletes' parade. PyeongChang decided to accentuate this, dividing their artistic performance into multiple segments, even after the cauldron lighting. I'll watch the recorded version again, but I'm not convinced this was a good idea.

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My  personal Top Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies:

6TH: Sarajevo 1984

5TH: Nagano 1998 

4TH: PyeongChang 2018

3ST: Albertville 1992

2ND: Vancouver 2010 

1ST:  Sochi 2014

 

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I liked it. I knew this wasn't going to be Sochi 2014 given the stadium, weather and the smaller budget, so maybe since my expectations werent that big, I kind of enjoyed it more. However, my big criticism was the large use of pre-recorded stuff, even worse than Beijing 2008 footstep fireworks. The Olympic Rings drones could had been a huge landmark in olympic ceremonies if it was done live, but alas, the strict no-flight measures prevented this from happening, which was for me a major dissapointment.

The future scene was pretty cool, nice use of projections and light effects, even if it was a bit similar to Tokyo's handover. The korean drums and forming of the Ying Yang was actually cleverly made. Parade of nations was one of the most confy i've seen recently, very quick and efficient, as to save time because of the harsh cold weather. 

Dove segment could had been much better if they didnt used Imagine but another or at least an original song. I admit it made me kind of cringe. The Cauldron lightning with that mini figure skating arena was a nice surprise. Even if we all knew Kim Yuna was the final torchbearer, given she did so much for Winter sports in her country as well for being the public face of these games, i think the honor was deserved.

Fire segment after the cauldron was pretty cool. Though again, reminiscing of a previous ceremony (look at Albertville '92 closing ceremony segment after the cauldron extinguished ).

I still need to rewatch the ceremony on better quality and without those pesky Claro commentarists. But overall i think it was a good ceremony. The wow level was a bit bigger (at least for me) than Rio 2016, that's for sure, but I think they wasted a couple of oportunities which could had made it much more memorable.

Might write a better review later.

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Nothing made me gasp in astonishment or feel hugely excited so in that sense it was a little flat compared with other ceremonies. The dome of constellations was probably my favourite visual moment. But everything was so well done and looked classy and well thought through. I think the projections on the floor which seem to be a permanent ceremonies fixture now work better in a small stadium too. They were also better integrated with the performers. It felt more like an intimate theatre show than the huge, often empty canvas of Rio.

Was more impressed by the skiers than the drones for the rings. They really gave it a sense of place that no CGI can. And the cauldron lighting was superbly done until that weird phallic tentacle came out of the ground to move it towards the cauldron. Surely they could've worked out something a bit more elegant than that!

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For me, the OC is a bit boring. I couldn’t get the deep meaning from each parts. People say Korea is just a copy country, they copy traditeional culture from China, copy future idea from Japan, so in this OC you can see many similar parts from others’ ideas. However, the most wow part for me is the dance after the fire lighting. Korea’s male dancers are always amazing.

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22 minutes ago, Rob. said:

Nothing made me gasp in astonishment or feel hugely excited so in that sense it was a little flat compared with other ceremonies. The dome of constellations was probably my favourite visual moment. But everything was so well done and looked classy and well thought through. I think the projections on the floor which seem to be a permanent ceremonies fixture now work better in a small stadium too. They were also better integrated with the performers. It felt more like an intimate theatre show than the huge, often empty canvas of Rio.

Was more impressed by the skiers than the drones for the rings. They really gave it a sense of place that no CGI can. And the cauldron lighting was superbly done until that weird phallic tentacle came out of the ground to move it towards the cauldron. Surely they could've worked out something a bit more elegant than that!

Apparently the metallic rod thing had 30 rings, which symbolize 30 years since Seoul 1988. 

Also this was the reason why Reuters got banned from the Opening. They were planning to change the lightning method but I guess they lacked time to do it. 

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Only watched half live/half recorded and I must say I was really bored. The fake peace thing with N Korea, including the cauldron at the end and horribly empty speech by TB made me cringe.

Also the constant music drowning out audience during the parade (at least on German TV) gave it a very sterile feeling.

Not a show to remember really...

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Really nice to see someone doing a bit more with the post-cauldron fireworks - a proper segment rather than just blow up as much as you can as quickly as you can. Suspect we'll see a lot more of that mast effect too in future years. 

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2 hours ago, StefanMUC said:

Only watched half live/half recorded and I must say I was really bored. The fake peace thing with N Korea, including the cauldron at the end and horribly empty speech by TB made me cringe.

Also the constant music drowning out audience during the parade (at least on German TV) gave it a very sterile feeling.

Not a show to remember really...

Agreed a bit more crowd noise would have been nice.

As I think I noted in the live chat thread, Bach made one good point in his speech- that athletes who compete fairly will have good memories of the event for the rest of their lives.

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7 hours ago, Citizen-Seth said:

I think there were some nice visual images and some great concepts, but nothing really came together to me. There was too much jumping between live action stuff in the stadium and prerecorded videos. I think that this show was absolutely created with TV audiences in mind (with commentary). Watching NBC's live stream it all felt so disjointed, but I expect tonight's tape delay broadcast to be much more cohesive for those who are lucky enough to watch it. 

One giant positive: the parade of nations was the least annoying it's ever been! 

i agree, i alxo really disliked the big amount of prerecorded videos.

 

and then lighting the flame could have been a really emotional moment IMO, Yuna Kim was fighting her tears and then the moment was destoyed by this flame-phallus.

why not lifting her up and lighting the flame in a classical way ? 

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14 minutes ago, cube said:

and then lighting the flame could have been a really emotional moment IMO, Yuna Kim was fighting her tears and then the moment was destoyed by this flame-phallus.

why not lifting her up and lighting the flame in a classical way ? 

1

The design of it, the sort of industrial spiral just seemed too incongruous with the elegance of the cauldron. Just a total miss for me. I'm hoping that when I watch NBC's coverage tonight they'll shed some light on the meaning of it (assuming there is a meaning). It sort of reminds me of the ugliness of Atlanta's cauldron, but at least with Atlanta, there was kind of a story behind it. 

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6 minutes ago, Citizen-Seth said:

The design of it, the sort of industrial spiral just seemed too incongruous with the elegance of the cauldron. Just a total miss for me. I'm hoping that when I watch NBC's coverage tonight they'll shed some light on the meaning of it (assuming there is a meaning). It sort of reminds me of the ugliness of Atlanta's cauldron, but at least with Atlanta, there was kind of a story behind it. 

According to what i've read (and one user of GB), the metal rod had 30 rings. Each ring represented the years since Seoul 1988, I think it was meant to represent how much SK has changed since then. However I agree this idea could had been executed much better.

The music was top notch though, and rewatching it again I did noticed Yuna Kim was trying hard not to cry on a moment which was very emotional but kinda dumbed down by this.

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11 minutes ago, Ikarus360 said:

According to what i've read (and one user of GB), the metal rod had 30 rings. Each ring represented the years since Seoul 1988, I think it was meant to represent how much SK has changed since then. However I agree this idea could had been executed much better.

The music was top notch though, and rewatching it again I did noticed Yuna Kim was trying hard not to cry on a moment which was very emotional but kinda dumbed down by this.

like i said, Yuna Kim was fighting the tears, maybe because she knew this mechanical thing gonna ruin her big moment.

 

30 rings for 30 years since Seoul - what a lame and constructed story behind this ugly thing to light the flame

a classical way of lighting the flame would have been much better then this ugly mechanical phallus and the lame story behind.
and a classical way would have made the whole moment much more emotional, for Yuna Kim and for the viewers on TV.

 

 

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My thoughts are much the same as everyone else. It was certainly a nice and generally well produced ceremony, but it kind of bored me. 

* Drum segment has been done time and time again, but I think with drums such a huge part in all cultures of the world, we probably just need to accept that these will be make more and more appearances at ceremonies. I don't really have any issue with that, and it was done well here. 

* Like others have mentioned, too many pre-recorded segments. I think there is also somewhat of a danger of some of these ceremonies suffering from a boy who cried wolf mentality. When things like the star dome happen, when the drones appeared I was questioning whether this was actually happening, even prior to the ceremony. Could have been amazing if done live, but lost so much of the impact for me

* The whole concept of the ceremony was lost on me, there was no journey of the main characters. 

* As others have mentioned, the cauldron lighting was ruined by that awful drill bit jabbing its way up to the cauldron. Completely agree regarding how it could have been a beautiful and elegant cauldron lighting. The irony is that this ceremony seemed to borrow from so many previous ceremonies, but what they failed to do was take a lead from the amazingly beautiful lighting with Midori Ito in Nagano . On the plus side, the cauldron looked amazing lit. 

I really do hope Beijing looks again at their ceremonies concept. I know they feel the world doesn't need another history lesson so soon after 2008, but there are so many elements of their culture they can display without repeating things. I'm just not impressed by this (to use a term from when I was at school) try hard demonstration of convincing the world that the Asian nations are high tech and looking toward the future. We get that, we understand that, but try putting that to music. :/

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On balance, I enjoyed the ceremony and I thought it did its job in welcoming the world to South Korea. I think South Korea didn't have to prove anything as that was largely undertaken in 1988. 

I agree with the points above that the ceremony relied heavily on prerecorded content - I'm not sure how exciting it would have been in person (ps- the crowd was not very enthusiastic! but i suspect a cultural thing). 

I thought the cauldron lighting was great until they handed the torch over to the skater and she did some naff twists on a perilously small rink with no barrier - only to set fire to a frightening jagged probe that lit the cauldron - not very elegant. And the cauldron itself looks like a cross between a toy grabbing machine and a water tower? Nonetheless - I enjoyed it more than Rio and Sochi (I have to say, I don't think the 2010s ceremonies are quite as exciting as what we saw between 1992-2012 - which we might look back no as a golden area where technology available was good - but not so great that it stole the show's spirit). 

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Pretty much agree with all above- an Olympic standard fine start to a Games, with nothing spectacular and a few flaws.

* Very happy that the budgets have come down since London / Sochi....I find seeing what a country can do on a tighter budget more interesting. Sochi is perhaps my fave ceremony ever, but it could not continue on that scale.

* The athlete parade finally was pacey, I think the super quick music helped that. 

* Glad to see PEACE screamed at the world- poor Korea has been the scene of some of the deadliest battles of the last 120 years..SEOUL has been flattened about 5 times ......more than anyone they DO NOT WANT WAR. We should all get the message. But why use "Imagine", it just felt icky.

* When there is no narrative, or strict chronology, a ceremony can just become a series of 'stuff'. 

* A kids journey again.

* The scenes seem  disjointed, and divided by looong videos. This must have seemed strange in the stadium.

* I will have nightmares about that fire phallus forever...and was Yuna Kim the most stressed human you have ever seen? Seemed strange for a professional athlete. Cathy Freeman by comparison looked like 'yeah whatever'....  :)

 

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Very Elaborate, Well displayed. I loved the drone segment and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron

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I knew it was gonna be Yuna Kim

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