Beta animation, I need some critiques.

This is the second (or beta) animation of the same scene I’ve been working on. The Alpha can be found on vimeo as well. This is my real learning project, my stepping stone between playing with untextured dominoes in the physics engine and moving to high(er) quality stuff. Here’s the animation.

Suggestions? I have the Final fleshed out, still need to do a little modeling, finish the chess board, things of that nature. The main areas that need focusing on are the Ambient Occlusion, SSS, and most importantly the lighting. I’ve read some good tutorials on them, so I have some basic info. I was just interested in what live people had to say, versus reading (in some cases outdated) tuts.