Today our baby boy is twenty seven years old. He is going down to London after work - not to loot or riot but to be with his lovely girlfriend - Ruby. So last night, as a family, we drove over to the Centertainment complex near Meadowhall. First we had very nice burgers at The Handmade Burger Company - using 2for1 vouchers that Ian had been given in his shop. Then we went into Cineworld to watch "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" which is newly out in British cinemas.
It had many gripping moments and some of the special effects were verging on the incredible. The chimpanzees were usually convincing but the leading chimp - Caesar played by Andy Serkis - sometimes appeared unbelievably tall, facing his surrogate human father Will Rodman, played by James Franco, eye to eye. I am not a primeatologist but I am sure that even if a mature chimp stretched upright it would not stand six feet tall. Would it?
The scenes on The Golden Gate Bridge were quite breathtaking with chimps swinging vigorously under the metal stanchions beneath the roadway or ascending effortlessly up the steel cabling. The sense of movement as the growing army of chimps moved through San Francisco was truly spectacular.
However, there was a certain obviousness about the storyline. I guess that is to be expected when a film is aimed at family audiences. Even a love interest element was woven in as zoo vet Freida Pinto played by the delectable Caroline Aranha got it on with Rodman. It was engineered to a formula - growing from the placidity of a research laboratory to a dramatic crescendo in which the apes look back from the redwood forest towards San Francisco as if subconsciously already planning their takeover of the planet.
No doubt there'll be a "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2) but I won't be rushing to watch it even though Ian and Frances both agreed that last night's film was brilliant. Shirley, by the way, was underwhelmed by the whole experience.
In any case, perhaps the apes are already taking over in the real world. We saw them last weekend marauding through the streets of England's major cities - though not I am happy to say in Sheffield - our fourth biggest city - which provided a calm and civilised contrast to the mayhem endured elsewhere - "Rise of The Planet of The Yorkshire Puddings"... people going quietly about their lives, walking whippets up slag heaps while munching on pork scratchings - "Ey up! Ow's tha goin' on?" I wonder if that could also be a Hollywood blockbuster.