There are instances when VLC nor MPlayer will not play .wmv (WMV3) files even if the codecs are available. This is due to the propitiatory format that it uses while encoding the video. While trying to play the video you are thrown with the error,
[wmv3 @ 0x8972330]Reserved RES_SM=2 is forbidden
So, you are left with nothing but using Windows and the Windows Media Player to play the video (easiest option). Else install Windows Media Player via wine for Linux (which did not work for me). The last option is to convert the video from that format to some other formats (.avi, .mpg) using mencoder.
MEncoder is a free command line video decoding, encoding and filtering tool released under the GNU General Public License. It is a close sibling to MPlayer and can convert all the formats that MPlayer understands into a variety of compressed and uncompressed formats using different codecs.
root@ophiophagus:~# mencoder file.wmv -ofps 23.976 -ovc lavc -oac copy -o file.avi