Pak n sav?

Before heading over to a friends with some movies to enjoy, I stopped off at a supermarket to pick up a few snacks and had some trouble with the self-checkout. I think that it started off when their speciality breads section didn’t have much left to choose from, which put me in to the wrong frame of mind. Getting to the checkout the bread went through fine, but with the apples I chose what at other supermarkets would be a the apple group icon so that you can then pick which particular type of apple you have. Not so at Pak n Sav. Instead of being a group indicator it rang me up for the wrong particular type of apple. How can I reverse this? I can’t. There’s no undo? There’s no delete? How did this design get in to production with such a poor user-design interface?

Calling over a staff member they remove the bad entry and they show me where the apples are. Not where the apple icon is but instead inside the A section. Not grouped together in any way but scattered around all over the place. What fun – I just want to get out of there and on with my day. Do you want to pay for a plastic bag? *Sigh* – yes, I’ll do so today. I try to take one and end up with a bunch of 5 bag. After getting just one bag can I open it? No – my hands are too dry to make any purchase on the vacuum sealed bag, and get the poor attendant to help me get the damn bag open.

Finally while doing that the computer nags at me saying “Please take your items”. “I’m trying!” I cry back at it, and am really tempted to go in to full-on Basil Fawlty mode shaking my fist at the machine, but somehow manage to hold things together with the security guard looking on in pity as I depart. What are we saving ? We only have a tenuous hold on our sanity at times and when we have to pay for what we pack, how can we get away with continuing to call it pak ‘n sav?


After kicking things off with some Breaking Bad and Sopranos, we started off with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) which after they enter the candy cottage and kill the witch in her own oven, picks up some 15 years later in a hypercharged feast of comedic gore and violence as they hunt down witches and learn that the ones that they hunt aren’t the only witches around. Along with the stereotypical hook-nosed bad witches there are rarer good witches who look normal, and just to confuse things the Grand bad witch can look normal too. Hansel & Gretel butt heads with a local sheriff, and are called upon by the mayor to find some children who have been kidnapped by the bad witches, which we learn are central in a special rite that will make the bad witches permanently immune to fire. There’s a lot that is cheesy in this movie, but it’s enjoyably done.

After some dinner we follow on by sinking our teeth in to the Swedish Let The Right One In (2008). We had several months earlier seen Let Me In (2010) which is an English remake of the Swedish original, so now it was time to enjoy the original too. Instead of focusing only on the child aspect of things where the 12-year-old girl vampire has an older man helping her and she grooms a young boy to replace him, the story also branches out to an old woman that the girl attacked and infected. This provides a very nice rationale for the girl to have others get the blood for her, and we’re also taken in to how the old women and others around here are affected too. It’s a very effective and well told tale.

We tried to follow this up with something more light heared in the form of The Lorax (2012), but found the sanctimonious tone too much to bear, so we finished up instead with the action flick Welcome To The Punch where a young detective gets shot in the knee we he attempts to bust a heist, and then three years later while still suffering from knee trouble, where he has to use a syringe regularly to drain his knee, he has to face down his demons when he’s dealing with the same person again, and also take down corruption from within the force. It’s a well-told tale of wanting to get guns on the streets for political gain, but the constant greenish-blue colour scheme chosen for the lighting did get to be a bit distracting at times. I only found out later that it’s a Ridley Scott production, which was nice to find out for there was some good depth to the story being told.