Where should I start?
Not to give the obvious answer, but they are probably best watched sequentially. Not that they follow any chronology, and I don’t think any film references any other film in an overt way (there are subtle references, but nothing with regards to overall plot). But the Bond movies provide a good illustration of the progression of American film over the past 40 years, and in a larger way, a snapshot of how global conflicts have changed and evolved coming out of the Cold War and in to the 21st century.
I am a huge Bond fan, but don’t think each Bond film is a masterpiece. Some of them I don’t even care much for. But I think for a franchise that has existed for almost half a century, it has created a very solid and enjoyable body of work. And enjoyable is probably how I’d choose to describe the films if I had to in one word. They are lots of things, some good, some bad, but they are all largely enjoyable films.
My first Bond was Moore, and it was a while before I found out there was a Bond before him. And by the time I saw the Connery films, I was used to him as the older man he was in ‘The Last Cruise’ and ‘The Untouchables’ so it was a little weird at first to see him as the action hero. I think Dalton was a fine Bond who got mired in very weak scripts, and Brosnan was great in ‘Goldeneye’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies.’ Craig is a great casting choice as well though I haven’t cared as much for the movies he’s been in, but I’ve only seen them once.
Christopher Lee (Scaramanga) – the duel scene might be my all-time favorite Bond moment
Sean Bean (Alec Trevelyan(?) 006) – Aside from being a total Sean Bean fanboy, he brought that character to life and it was great to see Bond up against one of his own.
Auric Goldfinger – Don’t know the actor’s name, but Goldfinger was such a sneaky, witty bastard. The kind of villain you don’t want to necessarily see lose.