I agree that most foreign films dont translate well into american cinema, especially works from asia, and i think a lot of it has to do with the cultural difference/language barrier.
Oldboy is a prime example of this, as the movie is basically a remake per scene (copycat) rather than really trying to evoke the same type of emotion and cultural relevance you got from the original.
I think that's part of the reason I didn't like the remake of Oldboy. Spike Lee did an okay job with referecing the source material but opted to do a shot for shot remake. It was a bit disheartening to see at first but it made me appreicate the original that much more.