1. My already high regard for Robert Downey Jr. is just skyrocketing right now. As good as this movie could ever possibly hope to be on paper, Downey makes it better by a factor of ten. He has more charisma in a resting state than Brandon Routh, Tobey Maguire, and, yes, Christian Bale put together. He's an all-star.
2. Jeff Bridges ain't too bad either.
3. Jon Favreau might want to refrain from trying to say Important Things about the state of the world, but he creates the right kind of "anything's possible" environment around Tony Stark that seeps into the rest of the film. That said, his decision to ease the audience's way into the superhero stuff is admirable if not 100% successful, particularly when the payoffs seem a bit stunted.
4. About Gwyneth...this is probably the first time I've seen her in a movie since Proof, and I was surprised by how happy I felt to see her on screen again. She borders on being miscast here (not even that red hair can make me fully buy her as the overlooked and long-suffering personal assistant), but her Pepper Potts is also warm and resourceful, good enough to make me stop pining for Margot Tenenbaum the entire time.
5. I don't care if I was sitting in a room full of comic book geeks -- there is no excuse for applauding so much during a movie. Yes, yes, they said "S.H.I.E.L.D." Pipe down.
6. It's not a bad movie, necessarily. It's okay. Kind of slow going in spots, and some of the sound-bitey dialogue really got my eyes rolling. But a worthwhile time at the movies. That being said, I am at a complete loss as to how this managed a 94% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Make no mistake: it's not that good.
7. Iron Man: C+
8. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark: A