Rob Samuelson

Writer, critic, videographer, editor

Chicago, IL

Rob Samuelson

To me, pop culture is the stuff of life. It helps me to figure out why things are the way they are and why people do the things they do. I curate a political news and information widget called PoliticsChatter for the Sun Times Network. I review movies for Halfstack Magazine and I write essays about film and television for Gurulife.


What is the religious left?

Right and left are opposites in how they discuss God in public life. Abortion likely to remain a contentious issue for foreseeable future. The religiously unaffiliated may weaken religious progressives’ growth.

TOUR DE PHARMACY and the Lies That Entertain Us

Jake Szymanski, Murray Miller, and Andy Samberg have a (very hilarious) thing against athletes. Following 2015’s 7 Days in Hell, their latest sports mockumentary for HBO, Tour de Pharmacy, finds the creative team building a cohesive worldview that skewers athletics, greed, desperation, entitlement, and a media environment that portrays these things as the height of human achievement.
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story

OKJA and Optimism for Humanity

Bong Joon Ho is a long-term optimist. He sees the world as a forgiving place as long as people put in the effort to make better decisions about themselves and the environment around them. The South Korean filmmaker’s work is defined by animals’ presence or absence -- Snowpiercer’s dystopic train is so bleak because of the dead, nature-free world it rumbles through.
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story

THE BAD BATCH Review: A Silent, Empty (Yet Often Fascinating) World

The modern world screams at you. Pings, buzzes, and flashing screens compete for our attention all the time, reminding us of the busy work we “must” complete and of our faults. This information onslaught is exhausting. It’s enough make anyone plead for silence. Just ask Arlen (Suki Waterhouse).
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story

13 scary horror films that avoided blood

CelebChatter Link to Story

The real-life characters behind the Broadway show ‘Hamilton’

PoliticsChatter Link to Story

Instagram post by PoliticsChatter • Jun 15, 2017 at 3:11pm UTC

Instagram post by PoliticsChatter • Jun 2, 2017 at 4:08pm UTC

politicschatterNot every politician has a spouse. These single leaders are eligible in Washington. See the full list at #single#singles #singlepoliticians #leaders#eligible #politics #politicians#corybooker #tulsigabbard#adamkinzinger #lindseygraham#timscott #patrickmurphy #senate#ussenate #house#houseofrepresentatives #ushouse#ushouseofrepresentatives.

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google partner to fight terrorism

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google have teamed up to form the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.
PoliticsChatter Link to Story

ALIEN: COVENANT's David and the Creator's Dilemma

Alien: Covenant is fundamentally a vehicle for good even if it is just an okay movie. It’s best to think of the latest Ridley Scott film as a prompt. It makes the audience think about some of life’s big questions, like whether the human race -- with all of its arrogance and malice -- deserves to reign supreme over all other life forms and if ultimate freedom is truly the best thing for us.
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story

WONDER WOMAN and Small Beauty in a Scary World

Wonder Woman is a film that looks at the world with clear eyes. It understands that human nature is often vile and violent. But humanity is worth saving because we accomplish tremendous things between tantrums of destruction. We must appreciate those things to have a chance of preserving them -- and maybe we can avoid the tantrums in the future, too.
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story

IT COMES AT NIGHT and (Lack of) Trust

People always look for ways to distrust each other. In times of extreme stress, that distrust can lead us to do things we would otherwise think are abhorrent and subhuman. But the thing is, it’s the most human thing in the world to lash out at the things we do not understand. We bury this fact about ourselves most of the time, terrified to take a peek behind the curtain of civility.
Half Stack Magazine Link to Story


Rob Samuelson

I am a recent graduate of Truman State University, the "Harvard of the Midwest" or "Princeton of the Prairie" depending on which t-shirt slogan you adhere to. Narratives in general are my thing. They can be cinematic, musical, literary, political, or anything else. I soak them in, dissect them and try to learn what makes them tick. I want everything to be as good as it can be, and to my mind, the only way to do so is to pick apart every aspect and build up.



  • Writing
  • Copyediting
  • Videograpy
  • Video Editing
  • Criticism