Last night, I watched a 10 minute version of Alice in Wonderland filmed in 1903 on my 50-inch TV. It was black and white, and the film - despite having been restored - had obviously been damaged. But watching a movie based on one of the most influential books of all time filmed just eight years after the birth of cinema through my PS3 was an amazing experience.
If you're not familiar with MUBI (and there's a good chance you're not), it's an online arthouse movie community, where users can watch flicks from around the world, share them with friends and rate the films they watch. This week, it launched as a downloadable application on the PSN for Australian PS3 owners.
Once you download the free app, you need to create an account - or log in with your own account - which is a quick and easy affair that automatically uses your PSN account details. You can then opt to connect your Facebook account for sharing the experience.
The UI of the MUBI app is clean, clear and easy to use. There are over 500 films available, including movies from all over the world. There are a few free movies on the service, but for the mostpart you'll need to fork over to access the films.
The content is wide and varied. As well as the Alice in Wonderland film I watched last night, there are Aussie flicks like Malcolm and The Big Steal, plus things like Hellboy and Hellboy II from Guillermo del Toro. With some films, you can watch a trailer before watching the film, and even though streaming quality is nowhere near HD, it's still easy and comfortable to watch on a 50-inch screen.
Even the pricing structure is appealing, with a $20 option giving you 30 days access to the movies you want.
Each movie offers a bit of an overview of the film, and once you've watched it, you can like it, rate it, and share it with friends, either on Facebook or your PSN friends.
The only downside is that the PS3 version has nowhere near as many films available on the website, mostly due to geo restrictions. But given the service has just launched with over 500 films, lack of content isn't really an issue.
You may never have thought that you'd be watching arthouse films on your PS3, but once you've tried it, the experience is really enjoyable. Culture FTW.