Did you ever meet your beast? The other other reviewer is exactly right in that it's a metaphysical experience. Looking at the back cover, I wonder if the person who wrote the description had any idea what the movie was actually about.
There is realism here. Everyone is speaking different languages as it was; French, Spanish, English, Native Americans tounges, etc. Pioneers are looking for gold, and Madsen is looking for His gold (I won't spoil). He's an AWESOME villian, but you already know that. Everyone else is fantastic. The special effects are really well done, and thorough (excellent production value).
About halfway through, I was thinking this is an awesome movie, and toward the end, speechless. Totally stunned, the credits rolled by.
I'm a sci-fi junky, and this didn't seem like it was really up my alley, but was recommended. And thank God, because sometimes the best movies are the ones that you never even heard of.
The reviewers who hated this movie should ask themselves what they wanted out of it, and then maybe go jump out a window for the rest of our sakes.