Cat Fight Battle Royale

2LDK is a darkly humorous and violent tale of two aspiring actresses, living together in Tokyo who greatly resent each other. The pitch-black Japanese satire escalates from their petty disagreements into an all-out war, taking their frustrations out in a wild final act which becomes a no-holds-barred cat fight. Replete with over-the-top violence, 2LDK is clever indie filmmaking from Japanese director Yukihiko Tsutsumi. It’s a punchy, idiosyncratic film set in a single apartment with only the two actresses.

Originally released in a double-bill known as The Duel Project with director Ryuhei Kitamura’s Aragami, 2LDK unleashes the inner demons lurking within two roommates. Forced to live together in a two-bedroom apartment by their acting agency, the young actresses are nothing alike in personality. One is a perfectionist control freak from a rural background. The other is a pampered city girl who broke into acting plying her feminine charms in tacky roles.

2LDK neatly captures the ultimate in seething resentment and animosity with pitch-perfect candor

Lana Tachibana (Maho Nonami) and Nozomi Matsumoto (Eiko Keiko) have developed a friendly rivalry on the surface, competing for the same roles and even the same guy. They harbor deep-rooted animosities beneath the surface, waiting to bubble up and explode.

A petty back-and-forth between the hostile roommates escalates into a sprawling brawl. They begin wailing on each other with everything available to them in the apartment – chainsaws, swords, knives, fire, electricity. The list goes on and on, reaching an almost shocking level of violence and brutality which reaches cartoonish extremes.

Darkly funny and often riveting in its sprawling craziness, 2LDK neatly captures the ultimate in seething resentment and animosity with pitch-perfect candor. Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s violent, simple flick can be enjoyed as an exploitation movie about a nasty cat fight. It can also be viewed as an allegorical tale of the challenges faced by young actresses fighting for their careers in Japan’s entertainment industry.

Video

2LDK’s challenging video mostly resembles what it appears to be – an early 2000s indie production shot with very limited resolution. This transfer is certainly not taken from 35mm film and looks quite amateurish by today’s standards. The aesthetic unintentionally resembles an oil painting, possibly as a way of hiding the crude VFX.

Unearthed Films provides a gritty 1.78:1 presentation, rarely rising above standard-definition clarity and definition. The 1080p video reflects a raw, poorly graded transfer from troubled source material. The uncut Japanese feature runs nearly 70 minutes, encoded in uneven AVC on a BD-25.

I’d bet decent money the transfer was taken from an HDCAM SR source, popular at the time in Japanese television around the 2000s. The Digital Betacam tech was capable of highly compressed 1080i video. 2LDK is incredibly soft, offers dull detail, exhibits moderate crushing, features occasionally blown-out highlights, and has a murky contrast with visible macroblocking. I’m sure this Blu-ray is a tad better than original DVDs but don’t expect miracles given the source material.

Audio

Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM soundtracks are the two audio choices. I found the 2.0 PCM audio a better and more coherent experience. There are some odd and frankly poor choices made in the surround mix’s channel assignment. The film’s music is unaffected but the sound design suffers.

The surround mix’s soundstage is bigger and more spacious. That is the only decided advantage. The stereo mix has smoother dialogue reproduction, tighter bass, and cleaner imaging.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font.

Extras

The special features are all vintage featurettes pulled from the original Japanese release. Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi and the two actresses are all over these bonus features. The audio commentary is new to North America. Unearthed Films subtitles all of them in English. The disc is listed as Region A.

Audio Commentary by actresses Maho Nonami and Eiko Koike (2004)

Making of 2LDK 2004 Behind-the-Scenes Documentary (18:12 in SD)

Duel Production Briefing 2002 featurette (09:49 in SD)

Video Message for the Theater Audience (05:04 in SD)

Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival 2002 Interviews (04:35 in SD)

2003 Premiere Screening Interviews (02:25 in SD)

2003 Screening at Kudan Kaikan Interviews (03:04 in SD)

Photo Gallery (01:16 in HD)

2LDK Theatrical Trailer (01:46 in SD)

Evil Dead Trap Trailer (01:27 in SD)

Premutos: The Fallen Angel Trailer (02:17 in SD)

Untold Story Trailer (03:23 in SD)

A Serbian Film Trailer (02:05 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

2LDK
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A raw, violent and darkly biting satire about two actresses fed up with each other which goes for the jugular.

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 37 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: