You can count me among the many people who didn't see the point in re-booting the entire Spider-man movie franchise so soon after the last series ended. While I though Spider-man 3 had some serious problems (I'm going to have to properly review the original trilogy one of these days) I don't think it was necessarily so damaged that they couldn't move forward from there. So I think that's part of the reason why I didn't rush out to see this film in theaters. I had heard good things from my friends, but I was thoroughly enjoying The Dark Knight Rises at that point and just didn't feel the need to go rush back and see another film.
Finally sitting down to watch it, I found myself dreading having to watch Peter's origin yet again, so I was pleasantly surprised that they decided to go back a little further and show him as a small boy, watching his parents leave. I think that extra bit did really help to keep the whole thing fresh. I also appreciated that they stayed a little truer to the comics having Gwen Stacey around. Eliminating his moment as a wrestler also helped to make the whole story feel more grounded and real. He felt more like a teenager this time around too. About the only part of the first half of the movie that didn't feel right was Gwen's interest in Peter, especially when he became a little too full of himself and surly. I definitely wouldn't be going out of my way to invite the boy over at that point.
The problem is that after treating this all as grounded and natural as a boy given superpowers by a spider could be, they suddenly introduce the Lizard. The CGI was really poor quality, giving him a ridiculous look, and his control over other lizards and general mannerisms made him seem like he'd fit more naturally in place with a Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher Batman film. Spider-man films should be naturally a little more light hearted, as that's exactly the kind of superhero he is, and I love the way they always kept him joking through all of it. I just couldn't get over the fact that the Lizard just wasn't meshing together well with the rest of the film.
One other little thing that bugged me was the death of Captain Stacy. For one, it seemed far too much of a repeat of Uncle Ben's death, almost suggesting that once again Peter was too distracted to properly help those who needed it. I know he was trying to stop the banali device, I'm just saying that the moment Captain Stacy said "Go, I got this" I replied "No, you don't" because I could see his death coming a mile away. There's also the overly long death scene that makes the movie end in a way a little too parallel to the first Spider-man film, with him rejecting Gwen the way he did Mary Jane. I realize that scene in the classroom was meant to change it up, but it still felt a little too close and is the kind of problem we wouldn't have to deal with if they hadn't insisted on this reboot.
Despite its flaws, I still enjoyed the movie. I'm also interested in the sequel, even though the villain choice seems a little odd.