Approximately 18 years and many, many bombastic superhero franchises since I last saw Sam Raimi's alleged "couldn't-buy-Batman-so-let's-try-this" project, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it holds up even now.
Yes, the effects are dated. Yes, the dialogue is cheesy, and still living in a pre-Nolan world with darkness but little of the grit to make it brutally convincing. However, it's funny, brisk, and it's frequently very grim anyway, with bursts of language and violence that must have seemed post-Burton-Batman…
Very admirable film, if not always entirely successful. The "found footage" conceit eventually becomes a bit of an obstructive drag, but the movie very quickly penciled in for me what I was looking for in "X-Men: First Class" and other superhero-origin films. There's genuine human behavior and tension at work here, and more often than not it's entertaining and fascinating.
If, like me, you (for better or worse) continue to regard the New York Times as the Mouth of Truth and Justice, this'll be a treat. The documentary kicks the door in on the place to see what's going on at the Grey Lady; at the time of writing/viewing, the events covered in the film are pretty much still happening, and so the documentary doesn't feel as dated as some other verité films do. (Always seems distant to me when…