Superhero movie flashback: ‘Superman’ (1978)

"Superman" (1978) is a product of its time, something that's more evident today when contrasted with the muscular and modern "Man of Steel" (2013). Still, if a viewer puts themselves in the mindset of a 1978 movie-goer, it's clear why this movie is beloved. Indeed, it even rates a 7.3 on IMDB on compared to 7.1 for "MoS."

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In 2013, the controversial ‘Man of Steel’ laid the foundation for the DC Extended Universe

Now a franchise of five films with the addition of "Justice League" this week, the DC Extended Universe launched in 2013 with "Man of Steel." Written by the Dark Knight Trilogy's David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan and directed by "Watchmen's" Zack Snyder, "Man of Steel" attempts to balance everything we love about Superman with a fresh examination of his character and place in the world. Every subsequent DCEU film – despite having a variety of writers and directors -- has followed that formula, to varying degrees of success. Here are three things that have become trademarks of the saga, for better or worse:

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Six dumb things and six cool things about ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2106) is the epitome of a movie where the end result is less than the sum of its parts. The three-hour Ultimate Edition, when watched at home in about six sittings, is better than the theatrical edition, but it still has problems at its core. It also has some cool stuff – when separated from the movie's overall context. In advance of this weekend's "Justice League," here are six cool things and six dumb things about last year's DC Extended Universe blockbuster:

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Self-centered Supergirl does the minimum of superhero work, but somehow is seen as a role model

CBS' "Supergirl," which recently wrapped up its first season, raises compelling questions about the societal role of someone blessed with extraordinary skills. Although Supergirl is held up as a paragon of virtue by the citizens of Capital City -- and the world – an observer could make a case that she's barely doing the minimum for someone who is made of steel and who can quickly fly anywhere in the world without her arms even getting tired.

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Batman and Superman could’ve avoided fighting if they had just talked it out

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," the second entry in the DC Universe film saga that started with 2013's "Man of Steel," is more engaging than its rather boring predecessor, due largely to the novelty factor of seeing these two icons – plus Wonder Woman – in the same movie. As with "Man of Steel" -- like this film, directed by Zack Snyder -- there's a jarring disconnect between the computer-generated fight scenes and scenes of characters talking to each other, and it feels like the former category dominates the film. (Spoilers follow.)

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First episode impressions: ‘Supergirl’

"Supergirl" (8 p.m. Eastern Mondays on CBS) is a slickly produced and nicely acted but utterly unnecessary and unimaginative addition to TV's comic-book superhero boom. Because it's in the same timeslot as another DC adaptation, "Gotham," and the year's best new show, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," my DVR wouldn't record it and I watched it on the Internet. It was hardly worth the extra effort.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘Superman versus The Terminator: Death to the Future’ (2000)

Writer Alan Grant started his 13-issue run on "The Terminator" with the gritty, adult-oriented "Death Valley," then followed it up with the shallow "The Dark Years," and he closes on an even weaker note with the kiddie-oriented "Superman versus The Terminator: Death to the Future" (2000). I wasn't a "Superman" fan to begin with, but this four-issue series does nothing to pique my interest in that saga, and it also treats the "Terminator" concept shallowly.

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