When Spike Lee's American reboot of "Oldboy" hits theaters Wednesday, November 27, the battle of the Oldboys -- old vs. new -- will be on.
Chan-wook Park's original "Oldboy" (2003) tells the story of a middle-aged family man mysteriously kidnapped and confined for 15 years only to be released, suddenly, and challenged to find his captor in five days. From its tagline and trailers, Lee's "Oldboy" adaptation appears to remain relatively faithful to its South Korean predecessor, though there's no question the American director has some very big shoes to fill.
Anyone who has seen the Korean original has the notorious "hammer scene" forever etched in his or her mind. Despite the film's proclivity for violence, the scene is truly a moment of utter beauty, the desperation and determination of the main character summed up in a mere four minutes. It's hard to imagine another filmmaker capturing the poetry of Park's epic scene, but we're very curious to see what director Lee does with it.
While it's no secret that some American remakes should never have been made (remember 1998's "Godzilla"?), others -- like "The Departed" -- so deftly match (or surpass) their foreign predecessors that "The Hollywood Treatment" takes on a new, much more positive meaning. So, in the spirit of one-upmanship, here are 10 of the best American remakes of foreign films.