'Avalon' comes home "Avalon," the Barry Levinson film covering three generations of a Baltimore clan, is a loving tribute to the city and to the writer-director's own family, on whom the film was based. Elizabeth Perkins and Aidan Quinn are in the cast of the film, which was shot on location in Baltimore and the surrounding area. That's just one reason to see the film, in case you missed it on the big screen -- but there are many, many others as well. Language. Rating: PG-13. ****
The Baltimore premiere of David Mamet's acclaimed comedy "Speed-the-Plow" is on stage at the Spotlighters Theatre. Directed by Steve Goldklang, this worthy production features fine local actors -- Mark Campion, Tony Colavito and Eileen Keenan. The Tony-nominated work exposes the ruthless tactics
that go into the cutting of a movie deal. Greed, power and sex are the tools used by fiercely ambitious men and women. Colavito is particularly chilling as a demonic Tinseltown hustler. 8:30 p.m. 817 St. Paul St. Tickets: $8. 752-1225.
The annual exhibition by seniors at the Maryland Institute, College of Art reveals a stunning diversity of ideas illuminating the work of 100 young artists. The show includes painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and graphic design. It ranges from such works as Nicholas Berger's painting "Late Afternoon" to Joy Butler's white temple constructed from plastic spoons and a 1982 Chevette transformed by Christine Hill. Through May in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries on Mount Royal Avenue. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Call 669-9200.
An illusory feast
"FX 2," the sequel to the successful 1986 film, flounders a bit initially, but when Bryan Brown -- a former special effects man currently fascinated with toys -- agrees to help the police nail a serial killer, the movie makes up for its beginning lag. Brian Dennehy is the former cop who agrees to help his friend when they learn that a police lieutenant may be involved in a cop killing. As with the original film, "FX 2" is best when the special effects expert uses his know-how to trap the bad guys. Violence, nudity. PG-13. **
Although the attempt is often made, few hit movies succeed as series when adapted for television. Tonight's CBS movie helps show why. It's "Uncle Buck" (at 8 on Channel 11), in which big-bellied John Candy played the buffoonish big-hearted baby sitter for his brother's brood of brats (including McCauley Culkin, of last summer's "Home Alone"). OK, it was no "Night at the Opera," but it had some laughs, thanks to the likable Candy, Now contrast that to "Uncle Buck" the series, which CBS launched last fall with comic Kevin Meaney in the title role. See? No comparison.