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When I purchased my Sony 55HX800 3D Television, it included a special offer for three free Blu Ray movies: Bolt, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Alice in Wonderland.

This is a great idea! It’s hard enough to find stereoscopic Blu-Ray movies right now, and the ones that are available are commanding $30-$40 prices! How any publisher thinks this is a reasonable amount for linear media is way beyond me. For $10 more, I can get Kinect games that have so much more replay-ability than any movie. I am so thankful for alternative sources of 3D content!

Alice in Wonderland is the first Blu Ray disc that I have played on this system. Until my freebies arrived, the Sony player that came with the Sony 55HX800 stat in the corner, collecting dust. Even when the discs finally arrived, its location stayed the same for one more day – while I acquired an HDMI cable. Unless I start buying more Blu Ray discs, these “free” movies have essentially cost me $10 each. (Yes, it’s possible to get a cheaper cable)

Overall, the 3D experience is enjoyable. The animation has obviously been rendered stereoscopically, with numerous gimmick shots to show off the technology. Unfortunately, this movie suffers from the same problem as most others: image ghosting in dark scenes.

The biggest “problem” I see in this movie is that the live action footage of human actors composited into the scenes — it appears to all be originally 2D. When sitting a good 2m or so back, the illusion is passable. Stand at arms length in front of the TV, and the illusion is quickly broken. Look at the edge between live and animated to really see the distinction.

Another side effect of the added detail that comes out of stereoscopic images is that makeup issues become very obvious. Try not to look at Crispin Glover’s face prosthetic.. the latex has definitely not been powdered enough!

Speaking of shiny, either the player or the TV must be doing some post processing to interpolate frames and give that plastic, glossy highlights look. I’ll need to do some settings manipulation and see what I can get out of that… it really makes a mess of Resident Evil: Afterlife (next time!)

For free, it’s awesome. For $40, forget it.. maybe $20? If you are a fan of this movie, it is definitely worth seeing in 3D… but it’s not the best of the three.