Yeah the CGI was pretty strong for the most part (especially loved the shots of the faces splitting open), but it still didn't feel nearly as real as the '82 effects did.
I just caught the film, and agree with others that it was a good movie and the critics seem to be judging it rather harshly. The effects weren't as good as they could be. Every time they showed the creature in it's full CGI glory, I kept thinking how much scarier that would look if it were something real instead of obvious computer animation.
The only real issues I had otherwise were that some of the male characters were so physically alike that I easily got them confused. At least in the original there was no mistaking two people. Plus, was the alien ship mentioned or shown in the first one? I haven't seen the film since I was a child, so I don't remember.
As much as I like the actress in the film, I kept wondering why she would at 27 be considered an expert in her field. Seems like it would take more than a few years to be considered an expert in paleontology! If she isn't considered an expert, why would she be the one picked to study something as important as a frozen alien?
I don't recall how this worked in the first film, but I also found it odd how they leaped to the conclusion that the alien could copy people after viewing some blood cells being cloned by alien cells. Seems rather unscientific to me.