By Chris WillmanJeff JensenAllyssa Lee and Troy Patterson
Updated February 04, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

BITING CRITICISM A tip to those planning the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards: Don’t put directors Kevin Smith and Paul Thomas Anderson at the same table. At, Smith’s website, a person who identifies himself as the Dogma lensman has relentlessly bashed Anderson’s new three-hour opus, Magnolia. Neither auteur would comment for EW, but the postings speak for themselves: “They sent me an Academy screener DVD [of Magnolia] this week. I’ll never watch it again, but I will keep it. I’ll keep it right on my desk, as a constant reminder that a bloated sense of self-importance is the most unattractive quality in a person or their work.” He also likens the film to “a cinematic root canal.” Ouch. — Chris Willman

ADULT TOYS Good news for kids who’ve been clamoring for toys based on Keanu Reeves’ hit cyberthriller The Matrix: They’re finally here! The bad news? They’re not for kids. Warner Bros. and N2Toys have created six weapons-toting action figures tied to the release of the Matrix video — but they all bear the bizarre warning label “Recommended for mature collectors.” Whoa! Dolls for adults? “There’s been so much controversy over Hollywood and violence,” says N2Toys prez Ron Hayes of his company’s post-Columbine marketing tactic. “We thought it wouldn’t hurt us to be sensitive.” In fact, Warner Bros. generally doesn’t license merchandise tied to R-rated films such as The Matrix, but Hayes says an exception was made “when the film blew past the $150 million box office point. It appears this is a little more mainstream than we thought.” — Jeff Jensen

ETC. Here’s a true story of a Real World alum who got a real job: RW Hawaii’s Colin Mortensen stars in NBC’s upcoming comedy M.Y.O.B. Says he: “I thank my lucky stars when they say ‘cut’ they don’t follow me to my dressing room.” — Allyssa Lee


We were sorry to hear about the heart trouble of beloved late-night curmudgeon David Letterman (wouldn’t you know, crankiness is a common complication after bypass surgery). In his honor, we present Top Ten Things David Letterman Can No Longer EatTroy Patterson

10. Big-ass ham 9. Hello Deli’s The Letterman Hoagie (turkey, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar) 8. Pork rinds 7. His mom’s Creamed Peas with Pearl Onions 6. Deep-fried sewer rats 5. His sister Jan’s Sauerkraut Balls 4. Marlon Brando 3. Chocolate-coated dipsticks 2. Spanish omelette from the CBS commissary 1. Lard-fried coconut oil