When I saw this blogfest I just knew it was right up my alley. But you know what? It's hard to come up with definitive films. There are so many terrible remakes of great films, but equally, there are a bunch of fantastic remakes of mediocre films.
So often foreign language films are remade to make them more accessible for English language audiences, but in translation, a lot of what made the films great, the cultural context, gets lost.
And the most pointless remakes are when filmmakers decide to remake their own films. What were you thinking, Michael Haneke? Funny Games is one of the creepiest films I've ever seen, but the English language remake you did of your own film is just insipid, despite being almost shot for shot identical.
So for my best remake I'm going to go for The Departed which is an English language remake of Hong Kong action flick, Infernal Affairs.
A close second has to be Scarface. Brian De Palma's version is actually better than Howard Hawk's original because the laws about what could and couldn't be shown on screen had relaxed and therefore the more shocking aspects of this story could actually be shown.
As for the worst remakes? There are so many terrible ones., but none quite so repugnant as the English language remake of my favorite film, Wings of Desire (or Der Himmel uber Berlin) as City of Angels. I would urge you to avoid this film like the plague.
And there's a bonus question! Best and worst remakes of songs. Again, there are so many bad ones and I don't want to leave you with a horrible taste in your mouth, so one of the best... Rowland S. Howard's version of She Cried by The Horrors. This song is THE song I played over and over when I wrote The Sidewalk's Regrets.