Don’t-miss movies | VailDaily.com

Don’t-miss movies

Charlie OwenDaily CorrespondentVail CO Colorado

Special to the Daily

Whether you just need a break from the summer heat or you’ve been waiting for months to see a movie, the local theaters are the perfect place to relax, unwind and get your entertainment fix. Sequels and prequels once again rule the summer box office this year but that’s not to say there aren’t some interesting new ideas coming to a theater near you. Here’s a short list of the movies you should not miss this summer.”The Hangover: Part II.”Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis.Directed by: Todd Phillips.Release Date: May 26.It sounds exactly like the first “Hangover” except instead of Las Vegas, the Wolfpack heads to Thailand for another foray into public drunkenness and hilarious misbehavior. More of the same? Maybe – but sometimes you just want to eat greasy cheeseburgers twice in the same day. The plot of “The Hangover: Part II” is being kept under wraps for the most part, with only a few details being leaked so far. Stuart Price (Ed Helms) is the one getting married this time around and from there it’s anyone’s guess. But really, who needs a plot? It’s time to fall in love with the Wolfpack all over again.”X-Men: First Class.”Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon.Directed by: Matthew Vaughn.Release Date: June 3.It’s another X-Mas for fans of the X-Men. With three previous films and a Wolverine spinoff already floating around out there, the latest in the franchise takes the prequel route to freshen things up a bit and give us a glimpse into the past of some of our favorite mutant’s lives. “X-Men: First Class” takes place during the ’60s, around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mutants have been around for a while but have remained underground for fear that humanity will reject them, or worse. But with the ever-increasing threat of nuclear war on the horizon, a decision must be made – use their powers for good or for evil. These were the days when Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) were friends trying to train young mutants with special powers to help save the world from destruction. The Hellfire Club, a group of evil mutants out for world domination, are the X-Men’s primary enemy in this movie. That means there’s a slew of new characters such as Emma Frost (January Jones) and Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). If done right, this film could erase the blight that is “X-Men: The Last Stand” and make the X-Men x-cellent once again. “Super 8.”Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning and Amanda Michalka.Directed by: J.J. Abrams.Release Date: June 10.Director J.J. Abrams is on a role. Having directed the Godzilla-meets-Blair-Witch-Project pic “Cloverfield” and the Star Trek reboot, it’s safe to say the man is full of ideas and has a flair for building curiosity about his projects, without giving too much away. Not much has been leaked about his new movie, “Super 8,” in which a group of friends are filming a movie on their Super 8 mm camera in small-town Ohio during the late ’70s when they witness a train crash. The trailer for the film would lead us to believe that something escapes the train during the wreck, but is it aliens, a monster, an army of Tribbles, who knows? I guess that’s the whole point. I know I want to see what was in that train.”Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand.Directed by: Michael Bay.Release Date: July 1.Even if they are confusing, childish and often obnoxious, one thing the Transformer movies are not is boring. Action is the one constant that keeps this franchise alive. And of course, the only real way to watch giant fighting robots is on a movie screen, which makes “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” another must-see this summer.When a strange craft from Cybertron (the home planet of the Transformers) is found on the moon, the Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (bad guys) must race to retrieve it and see what secrets lie within. Director Michael Bay said this would be the last of the series so expect an all-out assault on the senses as the final battle between the two robot factions unfolds with a maximum amount of explosions as the fate of the planet once again hangs in the balance.”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. II”Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter.Directed By: David YatesRelease Date: July 15.This film will make fans of the books and movies simultaneously elated and sad. That’s because it’s the final installment in the film series. The Ministry of Magic is still under attack from Lord Voldemort and his minions, which has Harry Potter and his friends still on the run and in hiding. As the mental connection between Voldemort and Harry deepens, it becomes harder for him to escape and the two prepare for an eventual showdown in which only one can survive. Meanwhile, the rift between Harry’s friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) deepens, adding to the dynamic struggle to overcome the forces of evil all around them. “Captain America: The First Avenger.”Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci.Directed by: Joe Johnston.Release Date: July 22One of the biggest events comic-book geeks across the world await is the release of The Avengers movie that combines recent big screen super-heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Thor into one super team. But to complete the set, you must see “Captain America: The World’s First Avenger.” “Thor” took in a hefty opening weekend score at the box office recently, now let’s see if old red, white and blue can live up to the hype. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, who oddly enough played The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, another Marvel Universe character) becomes a super soldier during World War II after being injected with a special serum and gets the chance to don the Captain America costume and take up that bullet proof boomerang shield that has become such an icon of comic book lore. Just like in the comic books, Captain America’s arch-enemy is the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), one of Hitler’s high-ups who wants to take over the world for himself. It’s got all the classic elements of good vs. evil, America vs. the Nazis, all with a super-hero twist. And after its release, we finally get The Avengers. “Cowboys & Aliens.”Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde.Directed by: John Favreau.Release Date: July 29.It may sound as corny and absurd as any movie ever made, but trust me, “Cowboys & Aliens” is going to be a fun ride. For starters, you’ve got Jon Favreau behind the camera and after his success with the Iron Man films, another big-budget action movie seems like the right choice for him. Favreau is excellent at mining comedy out of his actors too, so expect a flippant side to this comic-book brought to life.The story is pretty basic. Jake Lonergan awakens in Arizona in 1873 only to realize he can’t remember a thing about his past. Oh, and he’s got this crazy bracelet on his wrist that he can’t get off. Come to find out that when aliens attack his little town of Absolution, the bracelet is the only weapon that can defeat them and he must team up with town sheriff Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) to bring them down. Sounds like a good time to me.