If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hollywood has made a SHIT load of remakes in recent years (most being shitty, others being downright terrible). But, every now and then there is a remake that's actually good. For me, I would have to go with Peter Jackson's King Kong. Sure, it's too long, but I thought there was still good character development and a strong cast. And visually it's just incredible.
I'm not in any way SUPPORTING remakes, since we all know it's just because Hollywood is out of fucking ideas, but, we can't ignore the few good ones there are. So, what's your favorite remake? If you've hated every remake you have ever seen, then what remake did you hate the least? Feel free to type away and let me know =)
An obvious answer but The Thing, even though I guess it's more based on the same novel than it is a strict remake of The Thing From Another World. Also I'd have to say The Hills Have Eyes - it's not a fantastic film exactly, but it's definetly an improvement on the original.
I love the 80's version of the Thing, I just think of it as more of a reboot. And I've never seen any of the Hills have eyes movies, so I can't defend you there, haha
Speaking as somebody whose read the book (Who Goes There?) and seen all 3 of the Thing movies, I can safely say that none of the films are particularly good adaptations. Neither are they improvements on the source material. Ironically enough, the 2011 film is closest to a decent adaptation. As all 3 films drop the ball so badly in terms of adaptation, and that Carpenter himself was influenced by the original film, I'm sure it is safe to say that the 1982 film is a remake.
I have that story in a great compilation book Real to Reel (I think it's titled) and I'll have to read it. I highly recommend the book, too. It has the original stories for They Live, The Thing, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale, The Sentinel, and quite a few others.
The Fly (1986)
My favorite remake would be The Departed. Easily trumps all 3 of the Infernal Affairs movies, and those are all good-great films in and of themselves.
This is my answer also.
I think your keyboard's playing up. Surely you typed Guillermo del Toro's Mama.
My favorite would be John Carpenter's The Thing, but like you said that is more a reboot, but it is an example that it can work. The Ocean's movies are remakes/reboots, and while I don't personally like them, they have an audience and I can see the appeal. Personally I liked the first two Mummy movies. There are also roughly 3 versions of The Maltese Falcon, the famous one actually being the last one made. These are the movies I have seen.
Other remake/reboot movies I have less experience with include Ben-hur and The Ten Commandments which are both remakes of silent films. There are also some decent foreign remakes into English, depending on your definition of remake like The Magnificent Seven.
My point being that this has always been happening, and that they do not have to be bad. However, I don't like the current film industry mentality of it. I tend to think that a remake/reboot needs to offer something more than just the same film but with flashier special effects. I don't necessarily mind when there is a shift in tone, such as the more comedic Mummy movies, but they need to offer something different. I think that is why people are hostile to Total Recall, because it is a remake that adds nothing.
The Total Recall remake makes a lot of significant changes, but it's just so goddamn laughably awful. Sure, the original is kinda goofy too but the tone is just right, it has tons of entertainment value and it all hangs together very well as a whole - there's even a nice take on the idea that it might all be going on in his head afer all with several clues in the films to suggest Arnie is infact just living in a dream world. The remake takes all this potential and flushes it straight down the toilet - in a way I admire them for changing so many elements in the film and tryin a different approach, but they just screwed it up so bad and it was crammed full of things which made no sense - I blame the "director" Len Wiseman - everything he touches turns to pure hot garbage. Also it doesn't help with all these remakes when the studio obviously has no interest in the quality of the finished film, and they are just looking at it as a license to print money off of an established brand - there's a right way to do it, and a wrong way, too often they pick the wrong way.
That is sorta what I meant by adds nothing. It is the epitome of the soulless remake. I haven't seen it, but by the way you describe it they actually take away from the original. They copied and amped up the action but took out the funny campy bits and gratuitous gore that made the first entertaining and replaced it with nothing. They could have replaced it with some thought provoking science fiction elements, but settled on a soulless generic PG13 action flick. I'm personally very forgiving of brainless action movies so long as they are not obnoxious, and I imagine I might enjoy the remake, but their marketing gave me zero desire to see it.