Hollywood loves to “steal” original ideas from all around the world. These remakes that have become a stable in Hollywood and they’ve grossed millions over the years.
The L.A film industry is not that picky with the origin of the movies it boosts, but we’ve noticed that a lions share of them come from asia. We also noticed that not many people know that these movies are actually not Hollywood originals.
With blockbuster hits like “The Departed” or “Bangkok Dangerous” we think it’s about time that someone made a list of the movies that Hollywood has copy/pasted and brought the glory back to the movies that it belongs to. And we’ve done – exactly that.
Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park directed the original version of “Oldboy” in 2003. The movie was an exercise in rococo visual style and a taste test for even the most out-there international film fan. Sadly the 2013 Spike Lee remake lacked many of the elements that made the original film so special.
The Pulse / Kairo
Horror legend Wes Craven co-writes the screenplay for The Weinstein Company, although it’s ironic why Craven is writing a movie about killer technology considering he wasn’t even allowed to watch movies as a child. A remake of the 2001 Japanese movie Kairo, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The public opinion is that the original trumps the remake (big surprise) , but in favour of the remake – it stars Kristen Bell in tiny outfits.
A fistfull of dollars / Yojimbo
Little known fact: A fistful of dollars (1964) is an unofficial remake of the classic Japanese film Yojimbo (1961) that was directed by Akira Kurosawa. Both star super badass nameless protagonists played by Clint Eastwood and Toshiro Mifune. Also both are amazing movies that every self-respecting movie fan should see – like at least 30 times.
The Departed / Infernal Affairs
The Departed is one of the best remakes that have ever hit the big screen. This brilliant crime thriller is based on the (also brilliant) Hong Kong crime-thriller Infernal Affairs, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.
The Departed won several awards, including four Oscars at the 79th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Scorsese), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Wahlberg was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Infernal Affairs won seven out of the sixteen awards it was nominated for at the 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards, beating Zhang Yimou’s Hero for the Best Film award. It also won Best Picture awards in the Golden Horse Awards and the Golden Bauhinia Awards among other awards too. It was ranked No. 30 in Empire magazine’s “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” in 2010. It is considered to be one of the best films of all time by many critics and is the highest ranked Hong Kong film on Internet Movie Database’s Top 250 movies list.
Bangkok Dangerous is a 2008 crime thriller film written and directed by the Pang Brothers, and starring Nicolas Cage. It is a remake of the Pangs’ 1999 debut Bangkok Dangerous, a Thai film, for which Cage’s production company, Saturn Films, purchased the remake rights.
The film received mostly negative reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, says in its summary: “With murky cinematography, a meandering pace, a dull storyline and rather wooden performances, the Pang Brothers’ Hollywood remake of Bangkok Dangerous is unsuccessful.”
The Raid / (Judge) Dreadd
Now, we know that neither of these movies is a remake of the other, but because the setting, characters, story and atmosphere of these films are so alike, we had to add them to the list. The Raid stands out as a truly awesome action movie that stuns you with visceral and ultra-realistic violence in an modern setting, while Dreadd delivers some of the best hollywood action in years, while staying true to it’s source material.
The Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai
Though The Magnificent Seven had more than a rough start (complete financial and critical failure in the U.S). It gained great success in Europe and Asia. Filmed as a remake of Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, after it’s success in the foreign markets MGM took a second look at their magnificent bomb and re-released it in the States, this time with a decent marketing budget. The rest is history.