actually i never really had a favorite lol, tho I've liked everything he's done from We Own the Night to Signs. Since you asked tho, I thought he was great in Two Lovers. This looks like it will be in another league tho. I always think of PTA first and foremost as an actor's director. One of the few directors I can think of who can make his actors have performances that are extremely muscular and bravura and at the same time very nuanced beneath that surface.
for real? Nah, PTA is all about the shot for me. He definitely is an incredibly talented actor's director, sure, one of the best out there. But his films seem to me to be more a product of his keen eye and ear for a fantastic shot, the soundscape to go with it, and how to create one helluvan atmosphere by puttin' em together. When I think of PTA's movies, I never really think like "wow DDL was so good in that" or "wow, amazing how he got that performance out of Sandler". To me they are more like a series of visual impressions that I can call to mind, and of all the directors, his films are among the most visually reproducable-in-my-head in terms of camera movement, shot length, speed of the dolly or the zoom and so on and so forth.
In that way I consider him a reverse Tarantino. I think he might be even a step ahead of PTA in hiw ability to direct his actors, but his films just don't have that same memorable look. So when I think of Tarantino movies, the scenes I play in my head tend to be visually represented by the actors only, doing their thing and making the scene. And then when I eventually rewatch one of his films I'm like "ow riiiight, that's how that shot looks like" because all I can think of when trying to picture it, is the actor and the way (s)he walks, talks, winks, laughs, sighs, grins, etc.
idk why, but it always seems appropriate to bunch those two directors and try to explain the one by means of contrast with the other. so different yet so fucking alike