I liked the changes. I thought it worked well for the big screen and gave the bridge more a sense of depth and being a busy command center. But IIRC, I think one of the ideas about its more sparse look during the TV series was an initial thought that 24th-Century technology could do more with fewer consoles (or at least, the bridge didn't need to be totally filled with consoles anyway).
In-universe, my theory is that the Enterprise
-D was only in the first phase of her operational life during the TV series and was now about to embark on her second phase--perhaps finally embarking on a 10-15 year mission of exploration.