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A great series defining one of Star Trek's best eras
Star Trek: The Next Generation is a captivating TV series that continues in the Star Trek universe but has its own fresh stories and characters. Set about 75-80 years after the original series, The Next Generation follows the adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise 1701-D. As compared with the original Star Trek series, the Star Trek universe in The Next Generation era is as follows: The Federation is on basically friendly terms with the Klingons; the Enterprise D crew even includes a Klingon (Worf). The Federation and the Romulans still have a cold relationship. The Romulans are known for being sneaky and playing cloak-and-dagger with the Federation. There are significant technological developments, such as the holodeck and the ability for the Enterprise's saucer section to separate from the rest of the ship for additional tactical scenarios. Commander Data, the android officer, is somewhat similar to Spock in providing an outsider's perspective on humanity. Data also provides some laughs and other interesting moments in the series.
This show starts off a bit slowly, as the first two seasons are somewhat mundane at times. However, the show really takes off starting with season 3. The writing and stories overall improved, and I think the acting got better as well - The characters seemed to get more comfortable with each other (perhaps due to the actors feeling more comfotable with each other). I think the relationships between the characters was one of the best things about this series, and overall they all got along well too. In my opinion, the casting in this series couldn't get better - All of the actors portrayed their roles with all of their nuances very well. I think actor relationships/chemistry and character portrayal can almost make or break a TV show, and this was a TV show where the cast really worked out well. In some of the interviews with the cast, the actors have said they really got along well and became like a 2nd family to each other - and that definitely comes across in the acting in this series.
The stories in this series touched on many ideas and concepts, from philosophical to character relationships, odd anomalies, and scientific intrigue. There were also humorous moments, particularly stemming from the Ferengi and some of the scenes with Data and the other actors. This series also introduced probably the most interesting and menacing enemy in Star Trek: the Borg. I think the Borg made for some of the most interesting stories in this series - Certainly one of the most iconic stories in this series is the 2-part episode "The Best of Both Worlds".
When this series first came out in 1987, many Star Trek fans were skeptical about it, thinking the original Star Trek was a classic that could not be improved upon. However, I think this series showed quite the opposite to be true, as it took Star Trek to a whole new level.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
A very intense and well done film
This is one of the few movies I could watch over and over. I have seen it several times, and each time, I realized something new about the movie.
The question of the movie is simple. What if you could go back in time and try to fix something? There is an added twist to the main character's time travel, and I will leave it up to you to find out if you haven't seen the movie.
What makes the movie intense is that the main character's desire to save the one he loves, and also the problems he runs into as he tries to fix the problems in his past. The director's choice of a method of time travel is unique: The main character has an affliction that allows him to go back to a time in his past by reading things he wrote as a youth or by viewing pictures. And each time he tries to fix something in his past, something else goes wrong, and other things are changed unexpectedly. Not everything is quite right. There seems to be no good solution.
This movie is very well done and well structured. There are no low points in this movie - each scene has a point and ties directly into the main idea of the movie. This is one of those movies that will keep your full attention for the entire length. Ashton Kutcher, in his first serious role, plays surprisingly well in this movie. This is one of the truly great movies that has come out in recent years.