Redhat 5 came before VLC and OpenOffice. If you are using Redhat Enterprise Linux, then no wonder. This distribution is tailor for enterprises or servers. Servers does not run these programs. You can try to load up your package manager and find them there. You may have to add a 3rd-party server that has the programs that you are looking for.
The only distribution that I recommend for desktops or for any setup is Gentoo, but novices will have a hard time with it if they do not like following directions from documentation that Gentoo provides. I can not recommend Ubuntu which is an over rated Linux distribution that needs more manual setup than what people are saying. Out of the box Ubuntu is not easy on any setup.
The best media player in Linux is Mplayer, but it is best run it from the command line or with SMplayer. VLC is not reliable and stable in Linux. Also VLC does not work on all media files.
The best Office suite is SoftMaker Office. If you want to use open source projects, you will have to use a combination of different programs to use for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, flow charts, formulas, and databases.