I saw this first in 1984, though I remember hearing about it when it was released. It was considered very controversial at the time, since it was about gangs and set in present day New York. Which is pretty ridiculous looking back now, because if it had been a western and had settlers fighting through different Native American tribes it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. There's only one gun used in the entire movie.
I remember thinking the acting was pretty bad that first viewing, but I've mellowed about that. SInce they used a lot of real gangs it's not surprising some of the acting isn't that good. The action sequences are quite good, especially since a lot of the actors had to do a lot of their own stunts.
The last time I watched this it was the "director's cut" and had an intro by Walter Hill, explaining why he did it. It really was only comic book panels he used, so the impact on the movie was truly small. It seems this version on Netflix was the original, since I don't remember seeing the panels at this time. I would hope a blu ray version would have both on there but at this point it's just the director's cut.
Still, it's a really good movie and deserves it's reputation. If you want to see an homage to it with both KISS and roller derby, click here!