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Jerry Bruckheimer

Some friskier Arabian Nights

With " Prince of Persia," producer Jerry Bruckheimer must be hoping that he can once again bring back a lost world of movie fantasy. Will it do for Arabian Nights adventures what "Pirates of the Caribbean" did for pirate movies? It's based on a video game, not a theme-park ride, but it follows the same formula: Boil down a genre's main ingredients and mix them with a newfangled star, in this case Jake Gyllenhaal, not Johnny Depp.

Arabian Nights movies have always been filled with scrappy gutter waifs, scheming royal advisers, heroic or ignoble princes and princesses, daft or deadly monarchs, and otherworldly demons, as well as concepts like "the Sands of...