This is not a bug. Believe me, you don't want to run as root unnecessary. They put in this block for a reason.
If you are root, open up a terminal and type login. This will let you login as non-root user and run vlc. If you type logout when you are done, you should be back to root terminal. On my Mint box:
T61 ~ # login
T61 login: sigg3
Last login: Wed Feb 9 22:36:51 CET 2011 on pts/2
sigg3@T61 ~ $ vlc whatever.avi
Please note that mplayer is more well-equipped on the command line than VLC is.
Of course, you can circumvent it through SUID: Bash script running program as a certain user