m-flo – TUNNEL VISION (a J!-ENT Music DVD Review)
June 28, 2008 by Dennis Amith
“For a nostalgic ride during the earlier years of the music of m-flo, a motion picture featuring music videos, live concert clips and behind-the-scene videos featuring Lisa, Verbal and Taku. Full of cool, interesting interviews and things that fans may not have known about each individual.”
DVD TITLE: m-flo * TUNNEL VISION
DURATION: Approx. 89 minutes
DVD INFORMATION: COLOR/NTSC / English and Japanese audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track
CATALOG #: RZBD-45014
COMPANY: Rhythm Zone
I really don’t know what song actually attracted me to m-flo immediately but I have to admit that their CD single releases such as “Mirrorball Satellite 2012″, “L.O.T. (Love or Turth)”, “Hands”, “Come Back to Me”, “Quantum Leap” were just CD singles I would listen to a zillion times.
With a lot of the Avex-related DVD’s being re-released at a cheaper price (and no longer in the clam shells but in CD-cases), for the fans of Hamasaki Ayumi, BoA, Otsuka Ai, m-flo and a few others can now enjoy their concerts or music clip collections without breaking the bank.
As for m-flo, back in 2000, with the popularity of the group, a motion picture was created titled “TUNNEL VISION” featuring behind-the-scenes footage and also things you may not know about the people behind m-flo featuring vocalist Lisa, rapper Verbal and MC Taku.
“TUNNEL VISION” is pretty much a video that showcases seven of their music videos from 1998 through 2000 and live footage from their “Planet Shining Tour” featuring seven of their music videos. There are a total of seven live videos. For “Hands”, I found it interesting that only this clip would feature another angle footage which you can watch the projector screen or watch the group perform live. Also, there was a few omake situations where Lisa forgot the lyrics to one of the songs and the fans have a good laugh and she does as well.
Speaking of the fans, similar to their concert videos now, even when they first started, the audience was totally into their music, waving in their hands, crowded and just really enjoying the live concert. That was great to see!
Also, editing was done well for the concert with camera angles close up on each person and a wide stage shot. The full concert performance is shown and not cut off.
I have to admit that the earlier music videos for m-flo were a bit low budget and as much as I loved their songs back then, even back then I wasn’t loving the music videos because they were a bit too basic back then. Eventually things began to get better by their third or fourth music video
But what I enjoyed about this DVD is things that I really didn’t know about the group.
m-flo is derived from mediarite flow (meteorite flow) and all three attended St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. Verbal is Korean, Lisa is half Columbian-Japanese and Taku is Japanese and the off-shots really show a side of each individual that I never knew about.
For example, with rapper Verbal, included is a skateboarding film he did back in 1988. Apparently, before being a hip hop artist, Verbal (Ryu Yong Gi) was a hardcore skater. The short film featured the young teen doing skateboarding tricks. Also, showing Verbal visiting his favorite record shop “Guiness Records” to purchase vinyls. Verbal studied after high school in Boston.
For Lisa (Elizabeth Sakura Narita), her section featured her talking about her earlier career as a solo artist. In fact, there was a segment where she performed with her band The Vanilla Essence and sang a song. Then she and the band talked about the past and the restaurant where they would perform. Lisa would then show off pictures and posters before she became a member of m-flo.
For MC Taku (Taku Takahashi), his segment featured a look inside his home and his studio. Taku shows off how some songs come together and his hardware. Similar to Verbal, Taku also went to study abroad in Los Angeles after high school.
Also, featured are segments of the group eating teppanyaki and also promotional pieces for their music releases.
There are no special features and the menu features a selection for either the full motion picture, their music videos, live clips or off-shot footage.
The DVD insert features pictures of the trio in concert and production credits.
Granted, this is an older DVD and most people these days who are familiar with the group know of them post-Lisa years.
But I was impressed how much was packed into this overall motion picture. Actually, when I think about their current DVD releases, m-flo DVD’s have been nothing but awesome and you get your money’s worth.
With “TUNNEL VISION”, again older material but if you are a big fan of the group and wanted to see behind-the-scenes footage of them, there is quite a bit material on Lisa, Verbal and Taku and its 89-minutes of m-flo goodness.
If there was one thing that I didn’t like, the track list on the back is not the order of what is being played. It’s just a tracklist broken down as music clips and concert footage featured. So, for those not familiar with their music, when a song comes up, chances are that they will not know what song is being featured.
So, with these re-releases now much cheaper, if you are interested in checking out their older material, definitely check “TUNNEL VISION” out. A good balance of music videos, live concert footage and off-shot material but it’s up to you if you are open to watching the group’s older material.
+ 89-minutes of music videos, concert footage and behind-the-scenes footage of m-flo
+ A good trip through memory lane to remember how m-flo was when they first started
+ Rare side of the life of Lisa, Verbal and Taku shown through the off-shot and Verbal’s skateboarding video also included.
- Fans who are not into their older material may look at this DVD as too old for them to watch. Also, no track listings in terms of what is being shown during full play, just a track listing of music videos and live footage performances.
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