#3. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
The Flick: The Bard of Avon meets his muse and imitates his own plays in what is essentially a RomCom for theater-folk. "Hilarious" references to the Shakespearean cannon are as plentiful as they are obscure.
The Inaccuracies: Basically everything, since Shakespeare is one of the most mysterious figures in English history. Historians still argue as to whether he was gay, a front for the Earl of Oxford and/or Sir Francis Bacon, or a cyborg from the future sent back in time to found western civilization, thereby hastening the creation of the McRib sandwich.
Why It Would Have Sucked Otherwise: There isn't much that is less cinematic than someone who may or may not be gay possibly writing a group of plays that may or may not be those attributed to him after his unremarkable death -- we think.
#2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2003)
The Flick: A High-Classical epic of the Qing Dynasty, detailing the lives of those who are touched by the legendary blade known as "The Green Destiny" and their ability to speak in a fantastical space-language.
The Inaccuracies: You will be happy to learn that the Chinese cannot fly, despite what you have seen in every single martial arts movie made in the last 15 years. Their Chi, though powerful, has not yet granted them the magical abilities they so desperately desire, which is thankful-for that barrier is all that stands between us and the "United States of Beijing."
Why It Would Have Sucked Otherwise: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has enough exposition, slow dialogue, meditative reflection on the transience of life and forced reading as it is. If we didn't get a flying side-kick now and then, we probably wouldn't have made it 15 minutes in.
#1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The Flick: An evil computer based on the IBM Corp. tries to stop mankind from reaching our goal of a manned flight to Jupiter, but ends up singing like a little schoolgirl instead. Score one for the giant space baby!
The Inaccuracies: In case you hadn't noticed, Arthur C. Clarke's vision of a millennial dawn in which we are masters of our solar system was a bit optimistic. And though we may fear death at the hands of a computerized master, odds are more on Google or a creepy Japanese baby robot than anything IBM could cook up.
Why It Would Have Sucked Otherwise: Because a movie true to the events of 2001 would have been about Super Bowl XXXV (a 34-7 snooze-fest), the release of the Planet of the Apes remake and the Spice Girls breaking up. Oh, and Mir, the world's most advanced piece of space technology, falling to Earth in a fiery blaze and crashing into the sea.
Michael writes the incredibly important humor blog, The Specious.