In the trailer, the first few frames show this darkness perfectly; mountains on the horizon silhouetted against a black sky, but with a glowing yellow-red rising from behind, and remains of a building in the foreground to the left, but although it portrays the darkness in the film, it looks a bit cheesy to me, like its a particularly badly made film. Then it starts to redeem itself, showing Aragorn and Legolas talking in the dark, and flashbacks of the Ring, the forest and Gandalf.
Straight after this they show some evil-looking black dragons swooping down towards the land. The way these couple of shots have been done is decidedly good, and definitely makes up for the poor start. It gives a feeling of the past, like something happened long before, that now theyre about to find out about an old terror that once reined. Seeing that little section tells you why they chose the design they did for the final theatrical poster, i. e.lots of little snapshots of all the characters, either deep in thought or deep in battle.
After watching the trailer, even though some bits were a bit pathetic, the overall feeling you receive is that this film contains something bigger and beyond your perception, so the film really comes to life. Its one of those trailers that, because theres so much going on, it leaves you at the end with that wow feeling. The trailer resembles the press release in a way, because its all about the greatness of the story.
They use adjectives like astounding, epic, and ultimate in the press release, which resemble some of the shots they use in the trailer, like of the fight scene, the masses of soldiers all lined up to fight, the panoramic shots showing some awesome New Zealand scenery, and the crescendo of flashbacks and music that build up towards the end. Also, in the press release they give you a taste of the beginning. In the trailer there is none.