Well, Feige just officially shot down any hint of magic or alien powers for the rings.
CBM reports from EW:
"Feige says we won’t get ice rays and fire beams from these rings, like in the comics, but what will we get? Smart money says they’re not just because the Mandarin has won a lot of Super Bowls."
"But this version of The Mandarin will not follow that same backstory, said Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios. Don’t expect aliens."