Yeah, digital zoom is nothing but a useless gimmick. You are much better off to just crop and resize during post-processing if you need additional magnification.
Digital camera movie modes are another pretty worthless gimmick, although not to the same degree as digital zoom "features". They might be handy for a quick clip that you would otherwise miss altogether, but never buy a digital camera based on its movie mode or lack thereof. Quite simply, digital camera movie modes are junk. Even the best digital camera movie quality is notably inferior to the worst camcorder quality. Don't think your spiffy digital camera with its over-hyped movie mode will substitute for a true camcorder.
The converse holds as well: camcorder stills are pretty much junk too, and a camcorder can't substitute for a digital camera. I don't know if it is purely the limitations of the technology or if it is also partly marketing driven, but for now you still need a digital camera for still photos and a camcorder for movies.
I recommend against basing any of your buying decision on movie modes unless all else is equal and you are looking for something, anything, to distinguish between two otherwise equally desirable cameras.