Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of Oct. 27

(l. to r.) Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline star in 'Last Vegas.'
(l. to r.) Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline star in 'Last Vegas.'

Big screen

Opening Friday

12 Years a Slave (R): Director Steve McQueen’s follow-up to his controversial Shame is the fact-based story of a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from New York City who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in pre-Civil War-era America. Michael Fassbender is transifixing as a sadistic, self-loathing plantation owner. One of the best movies of the year.

Ender’s Game (PG-13): Asa Butterfield (Hugo) stars as the young man drafted into military service during a war against aliens in this adaptation of the popular novel by Orson Scott Card.

Last Vegas (PG-13): Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert De Niro are a group of old pals who head out to Vegas for a wild bachelor party. There may be hangovers.

Man of Tai Chi (R): Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut stars the formidable martial arts master Tiger Hu Chen who is embroiled in an underground — and dangerous — fight club.

Rene Rodriguez

Small screen

The Governor’s Wife (10 p.m. Sunday, A&E): Please, sit down before reading this. Possibly you should sedate yourself. OK, the Governor’s wife is a reality show in which 86-year-old former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, freshly out of prison on racketeering charges, tries to knock up his 34-year-old trophy wife. Notable also because it means The Real Housewives of Miami is no longer television’s biggest crime against basic human decency.

The American Experience: War of the Worlds (9 p.m. Tuesday, WPBT-PBS 2): These days, a broadcast saying Martians had invaded New Jersey would hardly make people look up from their cute-kitten videos on YouTube. But when Orson Welles did it on the radio in 1938, the result was a national freakout, as this documentary recounts.

The Returned (10 p.m. Thursday, Sundance Channel): In a French mountain village, the dead start coming back, not as drooling zombies but like regular living people. Not everybody, though, is happy when an departed spouse or lover pops back into the picture. Then there’s the little matter of those serial killings. The French loved this series when it aired last year, but they also revere The Nutty Professor, so who knows?

Glenn Garvin

Read more Glenn Garvin: On TV stories from the Miami Herald

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    Life's not easy if you're an organic-eating, tree-hugging, SUV-eschewing, carbon-footprintless, gender-identity-indifferent, diversity-celebrating, nonjudgmental (well, except for those damn U.S. flag pins) vegan pacifist. Just ask Gerald and Helen Goode, the First Couple of PC America.

Everglades City put on a weekend-long celebration when the Tamiami Trail opened 80 years ago this week, on April 25th, 1928.

    The Trail at 80: A new documentary retraces the eccentricities of South Florida's signature highway

    Escape to Dreamland, 9-10 p.m. Sunday, WLRN-PBS 17 Because I grew up halfway across the country in the middle of a desert, my knowledge of Florida's sultry southern tip was vague and tenuous. For years my dominant and perhaps only mental image of South Florida was grubby tenement rat Dustin Hoffman's quiet expiration in the back of the bus at the end of Midnight Cowboy, the beaches he dreamed of shimmering delusively in the background.

Miami Herald

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